Saturday, December 17, 2011

Family Hike

You make the announcement on a sunny Saturday morning, “Let’s go for a Family Hike!”  The support pours in immediately, ‘do we have to’, ‘it’s cold out there’, ‘how long will we be gone?’  Kids! 

Thankfully I get to play my Mom card and today I have decided we are going on a Family Hike so that is what we shall do!  Coats, hats, mitts, boots, splash pants on and the whole family is in the car for the 5 minute drive to the trails.  I know they will love this.  ‘How long is the drive?’, ‘where are we going?’,  ‘why do we have to go?’, 'are we there yet?'  They are really looking forward to this.

Funny thing is, they have a blast.  The day is gorgeous and surprise, surprise, Mom is right.  A Family Hike is just what we all needed.  The trail was a new one for us and the kids loved exploring.  We found ice on the path into the trails, a bridge across a small creek, boulders to climb, a ladder to get up a huge embankment, a stump to sit on, a log to climb on and sunlight bouncing off the snow at the top of our climb.  The kids collected sticks, threw makeshift snowballs, chased each other, chased us, climbed, slid and laughed.

Sometimes, you need to nudge everyone out of the house to get some exercise in the crisp winter air but I'm pretty confident once you let them loose on the trails, they will be happy they were so eager to go! I say when it comes to Family Hikes, Mom knows best.  Get outside and have some fun.


Friday, December 9, 2011

The Ultimate Family Photo!

 If your kids are like mine, they cringed when I announce we are going for family photo's. Sometimes I am convinced they sabotage the session on purpose thinking I'll cancel it, when in reality it just makes the fun go on for much longer than anyone likes!

I am a huge fan of family photo's.  We take them at Christmas, in the Summer, in the Fall, at birthdays, on the ski slopes, at the beach, at the park. . . you get the idea.  My kids roll their eyes, grumble under their breath and eventually smile pretty for gorgeous memories I am positive they will thank me for one day!

However, at our most recent photo shoot, I did not need to beg smiles out of them.  They were all over the family photo shoot when I told them their props would included climbing ropes, our warehouse, ski's, pretty dance costume and a goofy expression!

You see, you have not had an ultimate family photo until you have met Justin Van Leeuwen! I was introduced to Justins work via another very unique family photo of Julie Coles family of 8. Thinking my family wasn't large enough to qualify (only 5) I starting chatting with Justin on Facebook and Twitter.  I was in the market for not just any family photo, but one that showed the real us.  No pretty clothes and cute matching shoes, no studio, no fake smiles. The criteria was: it had to show our family, our personalities, our business and tell our story.

Justin was the perfect photographer for the job.  It began innocently with me sending Justin photos of our business space, links to our websites, blog post about our family, and a few shots of the kids to help him get to know us.  Then Julie Cole visited our office and sent a silly tweet about how great a photo would be of the kids climbing the racks of IronKids & Adult Essentials Gummy Vitamins in our back warehouse.  Justin's light bulbs started firing and The Lowther Race to the Finish photo was born.

It took only 6 hours of shooting which included 2 hours of arranging vitamins, 1 hour of wardrobe changes, 30 minutes of suspending one child by ropes and harness, 20 minutes of fan blowing, 1 finish line, 1 bike, 1 pair of running shoes, 1 pair of ski's, 1 pair of skates, 1 fork lift, 1 amazing assistant and a few hundred photos.

I hope you love our new family photo as much as we do.  I don't think it needs explanation.  It is us. Our family, our business, our story, our passions, our fun side.

Here are my photos of shooting day. Below is the amazing finish product.  What do you think?

For the photographers own summary of our amazing day, visit

Our Family 2011
For more on our family business, visit our Iron-Kids website.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kids & Colds

Eat your Veggies & Stay Healthy!
Do your kids get colds?  Mine really only get maybe one cold a winter.  I like to think it is because we try our best to stay healthy and take our vitamins!!  Wrote a blog about keep germs at bay that has been shared on other websites, so thought I would post it here!  Please feel free to leave comments for any other tips you have!

Kids and colds seem to go hand-in-hand this time of the year . . . but they don’t have to!

It’s true, germs are everywhere, and your kids will be at school, daycare or playgroups with coughing, sneezing and runny nosed children.  You can’t avoid the germs, but you can protect yourself and your kids by picking up a few healthy habits at your house this winter!

Eat plenty of fruits & veggies.  It is best to get your vitamin C from eating an orange so your body can benefit from the many other nutrients an orange has to offer! Experiment with your kids and new fruits and vegetables;  see if they can eat a rainbow of colours every day.  Cut into fun shapes, put on a stick and dip into yogurt, try broiled grapefruit or bbq’d pineapple. Freeze some grapes or a banana dipped in a little chocolate.  Add pureed squash to thicken that chili or spaghetti sauce.  Make fruits and vegetables part of every meal.

Eat yoghurt.  It has good bacteria that helps your immune system resist colds!  Add to a morning shake, put a few spoonfuls on the kids cereal, use as a dip for bananas, melon or apples before bedtime.

Drink lots.  Water is best, or 100% juice, to flush out the bad and keep you well hydrated.  Dilute juice with water for same great taste and less sugar!  Make your own fun flavours of water by adding lemon, or frozen melon, strawberries and grapes! Add orange, pineapple, passion fruit and cranberry juice together in a fancy glass for a fun treat the kids will love.

Wash everything! Doorknobs, light switches, telephones and remote controls all share your families’ germs! Wash kids hands and faces, even when not dirty.  Get into the habit of washing up after school, before meals and even before bed.

Get outside.  I know its cold, but bundle up and go out anyways.  So much fun can be had outside in the winter –go for a hike or a bike ride if you are short on snow or build a hill in your front yard and toboggan with the kids if you have too much!  While you are at it, open the windows occasionally to bring some of that fresh air inside during winter months to rid your house of any lurking air born virus.

Get some exercise.  Did you know exercise that gets your heart pumping and oxygen flowing actually increases your body’s ability to ward off cold germs?

Get some sleep.  Getting the proper amount of rest give your body the energy it needs to fight off the cold and flu virus.

And Take your Vitamins. Always good to fill in any gaps from your diet with a range of vitamins.  Multi, Omega, Vitamin D, B12, and Calcium are all vital to a healthy immune system, make sure you are getting enough!

The best defense against any illness is always a strong immune system.  A healthy diet rich in protein, grains and all the vitamins your body needs, plus some regular fresh air, exercise, plenty of fluids and rest is sure to keep your family feeling good this winter!