All posts by Jodi

Jodi is originally from Montréal, Quebec but spent a few years in Northern New Brunswick after graduating from University. She moved to Kamloops in the Spring of 2010 with her family and works as an educational assistant. Her 7 and 8 year old keep her really busy as they love exploring the area and enjoying what Kamloops has to offer!

Dryer Vent Pumpkin Craft

Here’s a cool pumpkin craft that you can make out of a dryer vent and re-use as a yearly decoration during autumn.

**This craft must be done with supervision, due to the tools and type of material used. 

Supplies needed:

  • 4″ dryer vent duct
  • hot glue gun or glue
  • wire cutter
  • galvanized steel wire, paper clips or even good quality twist ties
  • orange spray paint
  • measuring tape
  • stick

Step 1: Stretch out the dryer duct and cut a 2 foot piece. Be careful, as it may leave a sharp edge.
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Thistle Farm: Local and Organic Harvest Tours

Are you and your family interested in gaining a better understanding about where food comes from? Would you like to learn about organic farming practices or investigate the difference between heirloom and hybrid seeds? Have you ever seen a sunchoke? A guided tour at Thistle Farm will definitely provide the answers!

Located less than a 5 minute drive from the commercial area of Westsyde, the certified organic Thistle Farm is situated on the west side of the breathtaking North Thompson River Valley. The children and I stopped in to learn more about Thistle Farm one beautiful late summer afternoon.

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Tomato Powder: Excalibur Obsessed

Jodi, mom of two little people, shares

Dehydrated Tomato Powder

What do you do when you have a whole pile of tomatoes to get through and your water bath canner is already at maximum capacity, turning your kitchen into a steamy jungle? Well, if you have access to a dehydrator, then you can make tomato powder!

Tomato powder is wonderful to have around. A highly concentrated form of tomatoes, it’s awesome for last minute meal preparation. You can use it to make tomato sauce or tomato paste (no more half opened cans of paste in the refrigerator!) or even a quick tomato soup base. Here’s how to make it:
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Treating a Cold & Rainy Day Activities: Been There Done That

Today’s Been There Done That question is:

What to do with sick kids, and favourite rainy day activities?

Amanda H

Both my boys are still quite young and with most things that have come along from birth to now I have tried to use as many natural remedies as possible. My goal is to keep them comfortable while things pass. I have used Raspy Rub from Delish naturals on their feet with socks on, we have a humidifier, and I’ve also used Coryzalia herbal drops with tougher colds to ease their symptoms and find that works well especially with badly stuffed noses. We have 2 boys very close in age and not a very large house so I’ve given up on trying to keep them separate as it seems no matter what I do the other one usually catches it. May as well build up their immunity while they are still little right?


Favourite sick or rainy day activity.

When we have colds in our house, I try to treat it as naturally as possible. Normally one of the first things I do is make a soup loaded with garlic, ginger, oregano, and any other immune boosting ingredients I can find! I will use saline spray for their noses if they will let me near them with it! My kids HATE that stuff! I have also made a home made ‘medicine’ I boil up some fresh ginger till it’s quite potent. Then I’ll add honey and lemon. I don’t know if it really helps, but my kids love it and they are certain it makes them better, so I’ll keep doing that. I also use vicks rub on their chests and feet when they have bad coughs.

I don’t try too hard to keep healthy kids away, just tell them no hugs and kisses. It’s way too hard to keep them apart. When I have tried hard to keep kids apart, the germs still end up being passed around eventually.

My kids favorite thing to do when they’re sick is to snuggle up in my bed with a movie! Sick days are great days for extra books and sleeping in mom’s bed.


I pretty much just treat colds with lots of rest and raspy rub from Delish Naturals. I don’t worry about keeping healthy kids away from the sick child because I know they will eventually get it and I’d rather get it over with all at once! Hmm, I don’t really have a favorite sick or rainy day activity. I usually just pop on kamloops parents to get ideas when those days come up!

Jen H

I approach colds fairly typically but try not to let them slow us down too much, if the kids still want to do their daily activities, we do them. Really I let the kids’ desire and energy level dictate what we do. If the kids have runny noses and little coughs I pretty much go about life as usual with extra attention to hand washing, avoiding chills, and fluid consumption (we love cold remedy tea with lots of honey!) To treat colds we use Vics on the feet and chest at night time, a humidifier as needed, baths with mint oil, and lots of snuggly blankets and movies. I have in the past to keep the kids from passing a cold to the other but have since concluded that it is futile and just assume that if one gets sick so will the other. During cold/rainy season (weird how they go hand in hand eh…..) we do watch lots of movies, play cards, colour many pages, and play video & computer games. Not original, but enjoyable:) The internet has a lot of free colouring and activity pages that we search out on those days.


Treating a cold…I don’t have ANY strategies yet! Just try to get lots of sleep – for everyone! For me, I tend to crave chicken noodle soup – not the real, yummy, healthy home-made variety – but the ‘unnaturally yellow, dried noodles in a box. I’m convinced that whatever is in that yellow die kills germs, because I always feel better after!!

Tamara V

We let colds take their course without much fuss (ie. no syrups or herbs) but I’m not afraid of Tylenol for an achey kid. Getting my boys to not slobber on each other – even when sick – seems impossible. My boys can keep busy with a roll of masking tape for hours (well, maybe minutes, but LOTS of them) on a sick/rainy day (we prefer green painter’s tape). They use it for: hot wheels tracks that can run up walls & over couches, doing numbers & letters on the living room floor, indoor hopscotch, start/finish lines for indoor relays like rolling a napkin ring across the floor and taping each others mouths shut.


We don’t really do anything spectacular for a cold, lots of hand washing, extra Vitamin C and extra snuggles. One tip I picked up was extra garlic. I cut a clove of garlic flat and put a little virgin coconut oil on a little’s feet and put the garlic in their socks. They stink but it sure helps.


When my Children get colds, I alternate between tylenol and advil every few hours for their fevers, and lots of fluids. Sometimes if their fever needs a bit of help to break, I will sit with them and put a cool compress on their forehead. For Stuffy noses, I take them into the bathroom before bed at night and turn the shower on hot and we sit on the floor and read while the steam loosens their sinuses. After that, I put the humidifier in their room and prop their heads up a bit so that they cough less and can breath easier. If they are coughing lots or have a sore throat, I will make them hot chocolate in special cups and that seems to help a bit. As for keeping the kids away from each other, I usually keep the sick child in their own room as much as I can, but that only works for so long!!
Our favorite sick thing is to lay on the couch and watch movies. We love Movies in our house!!!


I take vitamin C, D and Bcomplex daily to boost immune systems in me and my nursling. When we get a cold lots of water for me, some echinecea, homeopathic remedies for both of us and lots of cuddling and nursing on the couch with a good movie.


If my children have a cold, I keep them at home and carry on with every day activities. I do not give them cough medications during the day as I find they get better more quickly without medication. If they are not able to sleep because of their cold I will use a nasal aspirator and if they still can’t sleep I will give them medication as a last resort. Getting the proper amount of sleep when they are sick is important. If they have a fever I most certainly will give them acetaminaphin to bring down the fever. I do not make them stay in bed or isolated from their siblings during the day as I know it is going to spread to everyone anyway and the sooner we get it over with the better! I also keep a good stock of candy canes for when they have the flu. The peppermint helps settle their tummy and it is a special treat that only is recieved at Christmas and when they have the flu. Stale ginger Ale also helps settle the tummy.


How do I treat a cold….well, I guess it depends on the symptoms. I don’t actually do too much other than let it run it’s course. Buy good quality Kleenex. Give Tylenol for fevers/aches and pains. Maybe some cough drops to soothe a sore throat – Sucrets makes a kids one. Chicken soup and other comfort foods. I don’t really have much of a strategy on keeping healthy siblings away from the sick ones – we’re constantly in the car together so other than no sharing drinks/food and lots of hand washing/hand sanitizer use there’s not much else I can do. Favourite sick day/rainy day activities – well I guess it depends on the situation but we would do crafts, coloring, playdoh, puzzles, board games, card games, favourite movies, and of course, play in the rain! And all that could be in one day!

Jennifer H

We buy a natural, herbal treatment called “Coryzalia” which helps with runny noses. We also run vaporizers in the bedroom, use Vicks vapor-rub, and lots of water and juice! In order to keep kids apart (which is tricky!) I usually just encourage frequent hand-washing, throwing Kleenexes away right away, and “quiet” time – watching movies, reading books etc.


Illness. I don’t really have much of a strategy here. I believe that colds and the flus are a part of growing up. Although, I do believe that hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illness and that an apple a day may actually keep the doctor away.

I love to bake and to paint and these are great rainy day activities. October brought the first rainy day when I couldn’t take the kids out of the house and we built a fort – we spent hours playing in it. The best part of a fort is that you don’t need any special ingredients or art supplies, you can use whatever blankets and furniture you can find:)

Amanda B

I treat a cold by giving the kids warm rooibos tea with honey, vitamin C, and echinacea tincture. I don’t like them sharing cups but thats about all the seperation of sick kids from healthy kids that i do. I also do not treat a fever unless it is super 103, so the fever will kill off the bad bugs!

Reading books on the couch, cuddles, and random made-up stories is what we tend to do on sick days.


The basics: lots of rest, lots of fluid, children’s tylenol if they are particularly uncomfortable. I really thought that it was inevitable that the other the children would get sick but I do try to stress covering your mouth/nose when you cough/sneeze, hand washing, and I have to admit I try to continually wash doorknobs to combat further spreading. Favorite sick or rainy day activity would be watching old movies together.


The Princess Bride is a bit of a rainy day tradition in our house that has also translated into another fantastic rainy day activity, reading a longer story all day.

My Father’s Dragon, Beatrix Potter, Wind in the Willows, long engrossing stories, The Velveteen Rabbit is another good one.


We don’t really treat colds with anything other than rest and whatever foods the child feels like eating. Usually chicken soup, apple juice etc. Sometimes we might put a humidifier in the child’s room for a couple of nights. We don’t even try to keep the healthy child away from the sick one – our kids share everything, even their colds. By the time we know that one is sick, the other one has already been exposed anyway. Favorite sick or rainy day activity? If we are sick enough to stay home, we usually don’t want to do much and just cuddle on the couch reading books or maybe watching a movie. It’s rare that we take a sick day in our house!


Lots of liquids for a cold! This can sometimes be challenging with little ones, but popsicles, ice cubes, frozen bananas all work. Board games, lego, magnets, are all great when he is sick- anything calm and quiet.


When my kids are sick, I just let it work its way through. I try and spend lots of time giving my children restful activities and encourage naps. Step one is the Delish Naturals’ Raspy Rub! Raspy Rub is a great cough-soother and is wonderful comfort for the kids. I will also give my kids Nin Jiom when they have a cough. It’s a natural expectorant and is sort of like honey to soothe the throat. We also have warm tea with honey to help comfort and soothe.

Rainy days are days when we can choose to do lots of crafting and baking, or we get out out rubber boots and umbrellas. If it’s cold and rainy, a quick trip in the puddles will be followed by hot chocolate and marshmallows, or snuggles around a movie and popcorn.