Family Yoga


One of the best gifts that you can give your children is the gift of yoga. Yoga teaches children to control their body, their breathing and their emotions. The benefits of yoga for children are both physical and non-physical. It helps build strength, and improves flexibility, coordination and balance. It reinforces the mind-body connection by practicing mindfulness – an awareness of your thoughts and actions. Focusing on breathing gives children the skills to calm their bodies in stressful or upsetting situations.

Whether you’re a complete newbie to yoga yourself or if you have your own daily practice or fall somewhere in between – now is the time to begin! Yoga is for everyone: young or old, fit or unfit, flexible or inflexible, laid back or high strung. Be your child’s best example by doing a yoga class together! The Yoga Shack on Ann has Family Yoga classes TODAY, June 14 and in two weeks on June 28 at 11:00am. It is only $5 per person. Bring your own mats or rent them at the studio.

Yoga Shack on Ann is at 203-140 Ann Street. You can find parking and the entrance on Piccadilly Street, off Talbot Street. The studio opens 30 minutes before class. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before class starts. Dress comfortably and bring a reusable water bottle. Namaste!

Fiesta London!


Fiesta London is bringing the sounds, culture and taste of Mexico to London this weekend! Come to the Covent Garden Market on Sunday, June 14 from 11:00am to 9:00pm for a beautiful cultural experience for the whole family.

This year, there are five fun ways for you to get involved: the chihuahua parade, the jalapeno eating competition, the taco eating contest, the Mexican charro scream contest, and the burrito eating challenge. There are great prizes for the winners! If you are interested in being a part of any of their contests, please register in advance HERE.

The schedule is jam packed with live music, dancing, folklore, pinata breaking, and even a chihuahua dog parade! There will be food and lots of entertainment. All are welcome to this family event.

11:00am Opening Event
11:05am CHIHUAHUA Dog Parade Reliance Home Comfort
11:45am Piñata Breaking Liliana Lara, All-Risks Insurance
12:00pm Mexican Folklore Adolfo Ranchero & Ana De Mexico
12:20pm Piñata Breaking Collége Boréal
12:45pm TACO Eating Contest Start Communications
1:00pm Mariachi Music Mariachi Viva Mexico London Heritage Council
2:00pm Opening Ceremony
2:30pm Mexican Ballet Le Ballet Mexicain de Montreal CIC Canada
3:15pm EL GRITO Mexicano Adolfo Ranchero Elencanto Salon Spa
3:45pm BURRITO Eating Contest Quesada Burritos & Tacos
4:15pm Piñata Breaking Carranza LLP
4:30pm Mexican Ballet Le Ballet Mexicain de Montreal London Heritage Council
5:30pm Mariachi Music Mariachi Viva Mexico CIC Canada
6:30pm JALAPENO Eating Contest La Jornada Hispanic Newspaper
7:00pm Piñata Breaking RONA
7:30pm Colombian Folklore Ritmo & Café
8:00pm Argentine Tango, Salsa Juan Marin, Tango Studio
8:15pm Fushion Bellydance Sol & Luna
8:30pm Mexican Folklore Adolfo Ranchero & Ana De Mexico
9:00pm Closing

This Weekend in London


Are you counting down the days until school is out? We sure are! Some schools are out tomorrow, some have another week, and the rest will be done on their heels. The end of school lunches is near, and that’s a pretty good reason to celebrate in my mind. This wonderful city seems to be in agreement because there is a lot going on this weekend! Festival season has officially begun with a bang.


The Parkwood Children’s Daycare Centre is hosting their 7th annual Touch a Truck event at Rona North this Saturday, June 13 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Admission is $5 per person. See a collection of amazing vehicles, from the driver’s seat! Honk the horns, push the sirens, and speak with the drivers. Food, refreshments, and children’s activities will be provided.


If you have a child who is a client of Thames Valley Children’s Centre, you are invited to a day of fun and adventure at Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre on Sunday, June 14. This is a free event for all family members which includes a family swim, entertainment, pizza, treats, face painting and more! Please RSVP HERE by the end of TODAY.


The London Fringe Festival is alive and running through this weekend. There are still plenty of great shows and artwork to take in, including Nuit Blanche on Saturday night. For a full list of theatres and performances, please see the above link.


Saturday, June 13 is London’s car-free street festival along Dundas Street from Ridout to Wellington. The festival begins at 10:00am and will have live music from noon until 11:00pm and vendors all day long.


The London Majors are playing the Toronto Maple Leafs this Friday, June 12 at 7:35pm. Bring the family and enjoy the historical Labatt Park.


Sunday, June 14 is Fiesta London! the Mexican Festival at the Covent Garden Market. The festival runs from 11:00am to 9:00pm and will be featuring a whole day of events, Pinata’s, Taco eating contest, music, dancing, folklore, and more!


@ The Barre London


You may be familiar with Pilates, but have you heard about the Barre workout? Barre studios are all the rage in the States and in the bigger Canadian cities and now you can do it here @ The Barre! At The Barre is a new Pilates, Barre and Fitness Studio in downtown London run by a one-woman powerhouse, Kristy Leblanc.


BARRE CLASSES: Barre workouts are designed for all fitness levels that focus on balance, strength, and endurance. There are three types of classes – Barre Basics, Barre, and Yogi Barre, each of them challenging and conditioning your body with the elements of ballet and the roots of Stott Pilates.

PILATES CLASSES: Stott Pilates is one of the best ways to tone and strengthen while giving you a great overall workout. At The Barre offers classes on the mat, classes on the reformer and classes with the cardio-tramp. The reformer can look intimidating to those who have never tried it (or at least it was to me!), but think of it this way – it’s an entire workout lying down and how can that be a bad thing? ;) The workout you will get is not at all passive. With body weight and resistance, the reformer is a classic for a reason.

SEMI-PRIVATE/PRIVATE: @ The Barre offers both private and semi-private (2-3 people) sessions for those wanting an even more personalized experience. This option is perfect for anyone needing specific attention while recovering/healing from an injury, wanting to achieve personal goals, returning to fitness after a baby, or requiring a specific schedule to be met.


  1. CLASS SIZE: You cannot beat the small classes and personal attention that you get @ The Barre. For a workout that is so dependent on proper form and technique, the personalized attention that you get from Kristy is essential for the results you want. It’s relaxed, like you’re just working out with a few friends… because you are! Kristy is right there to help with modifications, adapt to your abilities, and push you just that little bit harder.
  2. POST NATAL CORE: Come on, moms. The core is the one area that we need and miss the most, and nothing wakes it up like a little (or a lot of) Pilates. The combination of all that stretching that your abs and mid section went through, with all of the lifting and hunching over that you do with your baby and toddler means that your entire core is likely in need of some TLC. Pilates and Barre will give your core that extra attention it needs to regain the strength you lost and rebuild those muscles to prevent injury and keep you fit for your family!
  3. FUN: The classes have great, upbeat music and are lots of fun! Kristy moves you through a full body workout at a pace that keeps you moving without getting bored. If someone had told me that I was going to love the Reformer, I would not have believed them, but it’s great! Throw in the cardio-tramp and you will be so surprised at how fun a workout can be.
  4. STUDIO: The studio is a beautifully redone building right downtown. They have FREE PARKING right outside the door. The studio offers everything that a large studio would offer, but with all of the personal attention that is unique to @ The Barre.
  5. THE WORKOUT: I fit a workout in almost every day, but after my first Barre class, I felt it! Move over Buns of Steel, because Barre is where it’s at! My only dance experience is the kind I would do on a Saturday night before I had kids, but this class makes you feel like an actual ballerina at the barre – grace, strength, and fluidity. There wasn’t complicated choreography, just classic moves that work your body from the shoulders to the toes.


She says the hardest part is showing up for your first class, so Kristy is making it easy on you by giving you your first class for only $10. Pick the style of class and time of your choice and get there! Follow @ The Barre on Facebook to keep up on promos and classes.

At The Barre is located at 615 Richmond Street, unit D. Find the parking and entrance in the back off Hyman Street. For the complete schedule and more information, see HERE.

Family Fun Day: TVCC


If you have a child who is a client of Thames Valley Children’s Centre then you are invited to attend a Family Fun Day!

Come and meet other TVCC families, let your children connect with other kids and siblings like them, chat up the other parents. This is for all members of your family, all ages!


Para-sports, crafts, games, face painting, and more fun!

There will be a family swim from 1:30 to 3:00pm

Star Wars characters, and Elsa and Anna will be there!

Pizza lunch will be provided, cotton candy, popcorn and snow cones!


Sunday, June 14, 10:30am to 3:00pm


Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre

656 Elizabeth Street,


Register NOW with EventBrite for the event and for the family swim if you’d like to splash in the afternoon.

This is a FREE event, but you do have to register in advance to let them know who is coming.


This Weekend in London


The first weekend in June is loaded with excitement isn’t it? It’s the last month of school and the weather is out of excuses – it has to be warm! To celebrate, London has some incredible things going on.


If you were one of the lucky ones to get tickets, tomorrow night, Friday, June 5 at the Bud Gardens is going to be amazing! The concert begins at 7:30pm with Foy Vance opening.


For 33 years, London’s oldest community festival has been taking place in Old South. Join the party on Saturday, June 6 on The Green (the field beside the old LDCSB building at 165 Elmwood Ave) for live entertainment, food, so many kids activities, and over 90 local craft and plant vendors. The event runs from 10:00am to 5:00pm. A full itinerary can be found HERE.


Can you believe it’s time for the City of London’s outdoor pools to open? The spray pads have been open for a few weeks now, but as of this Saturday Thames Pool, Stronach Pool, East Lions Pool, and Westminster Pool are open for weekends only. For more information, see HERE.


The Majors are playing this Friday, June 5 at Labatt Park against Kitchener at 7:35pm. They are playing again this Sunday, June 7 at 1:05pm against Barrie. Tickets for both games are $8 for adults, $6 for kids and seniors.


The London Fringe Festival is on now until June 13. Forty-five theatre companies will be performing 350 times along with 35 visual artists at nine venues over twelve days. See HERE for all of the shows on stage, HERE for the visual artists, and HERE for all of the ticket information.


Spina Bifida Awareness Month


June is Spina Bifida Awareness month in Canada! Do you know the facts?


Spina bifida is a neural tube defect (NTD) that translates to ‘split spine’. When the brain and spine of a fetus is being formed, the bones of the spinal column do not close the whole way down. The place on the spine where the bones split remains open while the rest of the fetus continues to develop around it. There are different types of spina bifida, but the most common (and most ‘severe’) is called myelomeningocele. With myelomeningocele, the spinal cord is not protected and is exposed to amniotic fluid for the last eight months of a pregnancy, causing irreversible damage.

People with spina bifida will have some degree of paralysis, depending on where the opening is and how much damage there was in utero. These are not things that can be determined until after birth. Some people with SB only require special shoes or orthotics and some use a wheelchair to be ambulatory. About 80% of people with SB will also have hydrocephalus (an excess of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain) which is treated by inserting a shunt into the brain’s ventricles.

Spina bifida is a physical disability and does not generally effect cognitive, social or behavioural aspects of development.


The cause of SB is not yet known, so there is neither a cure nor a means of preventing SB. Taking folic acid at least three months before conceiving and in the first few months of a pregnancy has been shown to reduce the likelihood of having a baby with spina bifida by about 70 percent. There have been studies that show certain medications increase the probability, genetics, and possibly environmental factors.


The SBHAO is an invaluable resource for families and people with SB. They provide resources, support, connections, and advice. The SBHAO is run only through donations, they don’t receive any funds from the government. If you are at the LCBO from now until June 20, drop as much change as you can in the boxes at the checkout counter to support this wonderful organizations and the families impacted by spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Universal Child Care Benefit: An Update


The proposed changes to the Universal Child Care Benefit are currently unrolling and now is the time to make sure that you will receive it in July if you are eligible. You may have received a letter in the mail recently or will be receiving one this week which will be seeking to confirm the names and birth dates of the children under the age of eighteen that you have living with you in your care.

IF YOU RECEIVE A LETTER: look closely to be sure that all of your children from birth to 17 years of age are listed. If the information is correct, you do not need to do anything.

If the information is incorrect, you need to respond in writing as soon as possible with the correct information.

If the information is not complete (e.g. a child is missing) you will need to apply for that child. You can do this online at

IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE A LETTER: you may need to apply for UCCB or update your information.

  • If you currently only have children under the age of 6 and you are currently receiving UCCB monthly for all of your children, you do not need to do anything
  • If you currently only have children under the age of 6 and you have never applied for UCCB or CCTB, you will need to apply for it now in order to receive the increase
  • If you currently have children who are ages 6 to 15 for whom you have previously received the UCCB for, you do not need to do anything
  • If you currently have children who are over the age of 14 who have never received UCCB OR CCTB, you will need to apply for it now in order to receive the enhanced benefit
  • If you currently have children who are over the age of 14 who have never received UCCB, but for whom you receive CCTB, you do not need to do anything
  • If your situation has changed and you now have new children over the age of 6 that are in your care or no longer in your care (e.g. through marriage, divorce or adoption) you will need to update your information with the CRA

For more information on who will need to apply and how to apply, see HERE.


In July 2015, the Universal Child Care Benefit will increase by $60/month for all children ages birth to their 18th birthday. You will receive a retroactive payment for January to June of 2015, plus the payment for July 2015.

Children 0 to 5: 6 x $60 = $360 + $160 = $520

Children 6 to 17: 6 x $60 = $360 + $60 = $420

From August 2015 forward, you will receive:

$160 per month for children from birth to their 6th birthday month.

$60 per month for children from 6 years old to their 18th birthday month.



London Cares Curbside Food Drive


The London Cares Curbside Food Drive begins this Friday, June 5th and runs until June 13. This is our chance as a community to pitch in and restock the London Food Bank with enough perishable food to get Londoners through the summer months. Though many are eager to give at the holiday times throughout the year, the warmer months when people get busy with vacations and having fun are a time when the shelves need to stay filled.


Make a donation at the curb: put a bag of non-perishable items beside your blue bins on your regularly scheduled recycling pick up date.

Place donations in the bins at the front of your neighbourhood grocery store.

Bring your donations to any Tim Horton’s locations during the donation period.


Please check the expiration dates on all products before donating. Expired items cannot be used by the Food Bank. All donations are welcome, however these are the Food Banks most needed items:

  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meat & fish
  • Peanut butter
  • Baby food & formula
  • Pasta & pasta sauces
  • Rice
  • Special diet foods (gluten free, lactose free, etc.)


Perishable items (fresh fruits, vegetables, and commercially baked goods) cannot be collected at any of the above locations, but can be brought directly to the London Food Bank at 926 Leathorne Street.


Water Restrictions


Beginning tomorrow, Monday, June 1, the water restriction for outdoor water use comes into effect and will last until the end of August. It is time to turn off the hoses and start paying attention to the calendar.


To conserve water in London during the warmer months, Londoners are expected to only use their hoses on the dates that correspond to their house number.

  • on even calendar dates, only those with municipal addresses ending with 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 may use external water
  • on odd calendar dates, only those with municipal addresses ending with 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 may use external water


There is currently a by-law awaiting approval that will remove water restrictions on weekends and statutory holidays this summer.


  • Your lawn only requires one inch of water per week to survive and thrive through the warmer months. Instead of turning on the sprinkler every other day, buy yourself a rain gauge which will measure the total amount of rain that your lawn gets every week, and then adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
  • The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning. Watering during the day will result in most of the water being evaporated.
  • Using mulch on your gardens will reduce the need for watering by keeping soil moist and preventing evaporation, as well as help with weeds.
  • Set your lawn mower to trim a little bit longer and allow the grass clippings to stay on your lawn. This will add nutrients back to the soil and act as a mulch for your grass which will prevent evaporation and keep the soil moist.
  • For more water conservation tips, see HERE.