Friday, February 29, 2008

A Slice For Ellen

We were really excited that our first cake from the Buy-A-Slice program went to celebrate the 104th birthday of Ellen at Tyndall Estates Retirement Home. Could there be a better cause for celebration? Happy Birthday Ellen, Tove, Eileen, Nancy & John - all celebrants and all thrilled to receive the attention from the Gingerbread Lane community - thank you everyone!

Our next recipient is the Sunshine Children's Centre who will be receiving their cake this next week. Can't wait to add some cake crumbs to the kids smiles!

If you know of any senior or children's program that you feel would be a grand recipient, please post your suggestion in the "comments" below or email to

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Ok now I'm well into this book and can't seem to find the time to read more than a page or two with each go. I'm in awe of how Lisa See can tell such a cultural tale with such humanity and personality. Really enjoying it - but what are you thinking of it so far? Post a comment below - tell me your thoughts - add a flower to the fan.

Monday, February 25, 2008

March Break Is Fast Approaching - Don't Miss Registration!

Hard to believe that March is only a few days away - have you made plans?

Gingerbread Lane is excited to be organizing our first March Break session - packed full of activities. We'd love to see you - and remember that whenever you are registered for an activity - even multi-day activities - it includes free play that same day!

We have a cafe on site that has mini tortilla pizzas and juice or milk for the kids. What more do you have to think about - here's your list of options. To register, email or call 905-271-2900

Monday March 10 -
St.John's Babysitting Course (Age 11+) - 9:30-4:30p (5 spaces left)

Tuesday March 11 -
Mad Science: Science of Magic (Grade 1-6) - 9:30-10:30a (12 spaces left)
Treasure Hunt (Ages 2-4) - 10-10:45a (6 spaces left)
Beadology for Kids (Age 6+) - 11-12p (6 spaces left)
Scrapbooking for Kids (Age 8+) 5-Day Series - Day One - 1-3p
Treasure Hunt (Ages 5-8) - 1-1:45p (10 spaces left)

Wednesday March 12
Mad Science: Kitchen Chemistry (Grade 1-6) - 9:30-10:30a (12 spaces left)
Paint-Your-Own-Pottery for Kids (Age 6+) 4-Day Series - Day One - 11-12:30p (5 spaces left)
Scrapbooking for Kids (Age 8+) 5-Day Series - Day Two - 1-3p

Thursday March 13
Mad Science: Detective Science (Grade 1-6) - 9:30-10:30a (12 spaces left)
Paint-Your-Own-Pottery for Kids (Age 6+) 4-Day Series - Day Two - 11-12:30p (5 spaces left)
Scrapbooking for Kids (Age 8+) 5-Day Series - Day Three - 1-3p

Friday March 14
Mad Science: Slime Time (Grade 1-6) - 9:30-10:30a (12 spaces left)
Treasure Hunt (Ages 2-4) - 10-10:45a (10 spaces left)
Paint-Your-Own-Pottery for Kids (Age 6+) 4-Day Series - Day Three - 11-12:30p (5 spaces left)
Scrapbooking for Kids (Age 8+) 5-Day Series - Day Four - 1-3p
Treasure Hunt (Ages 5-8) - 1-1:45p (10 spaces left)
Get-together for Families With Special Needs - 6:30-8:30p

Saturday March 15
Paint-Your-Own-Pottery for Kids (Age 6+) 4-Day Series - Day Four - 11-12:30p (5 spaces left)
Scrapbooking for Kids (Age 8+) 5-Day Series - Day Five - 1-3p

For costs, descriptions or to register for any of the above - email or call 905-271-2900

We'll have drop in play all week too - you don't have to registered in an activity to enjoy a visit! We look forward to seeing you!

A Place To Gather

What better way to build a sense of community than to gather together with neighbours. We have begun our calendar of Get-Togethers and gatherings and welcome you all to join us. As a community Family Centre, we aim to meet the needs of all families in our neighbourhood - for fun, for learning, for making connections. Please join us for any of the following and pass the information along to your friends:

• Mom 2 Two Get-Together (bi-weekly, Monday mornings)
• Gripe Water Get-Together For Guilt-Free Belly-Achin’ (monthly)
• New Mom Get-Together (bi-weekly, Friday mornings)
• Family Nights (monthly, Friday evening)
• Get-Together for Families with Special Needs (monthly, Friday evening)
• Book Club (monthly, M,Tu or Wed evening)
• Get-Together for Families with Multiples (monthly, Thursday evening)
• Get-Together for Adoptive Families (monthly, Tuesday evening)

For upcoming dates or information on any of the above - please email or call 905-271-2900. If you are looking for a place to host your own gathering - we could be the perfect space - give us a call!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eaten Prayed Loved It...

Ok, I loved the chat we enjoyed last night at the "Eat Pray Love" Book Club - a really nice group to discuss a grand book with. Thank you all for such great company and wonderful conversation! I realize I did not get everyone's emails for the Book Club mail-outs - please forward to Anyone else out there interested in joining us for our third Club in March? The book is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - we'd love to see you there! Email for more info. Thanks all!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Book Club - It's Almost Here!

Ok good people - can I tell you how much I'm looking forward to this Wednesday's Book Club?? I've been eagerly awaiting this get-together since the beginning of January (alright, not forever but it feels like it!) and I'm currently buzzing through the book a second time and enjoying it just as much repeated. This is the first book that I've read back-to-back like this. I've enjoyed many conversations already about it - ranging from "is this for real?" to "loved Italy, loved India, loved Indonesia!"

I think it'll be a grand conversation - will you join us? You may not be finished the book - or even started it - but the book's got enough buzz to get you involved.

Here's a thought to leave you with...loving Elizabeth Gilbert's personification of Depression and Loneliness, describing them as a very real presence in her life.

"Depression and Loneliness track me down after about ten days in Italy...They come upon me all silent and menacing like Pinkerton Detectives and they flank me - Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right...Then they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there. Depression even confiscates my identity; but he always does that...he just gives me that dark smile, settles into my favourite chair, puts his feet on my table and lights a cigar, filling the place with his awful smoke. Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over himself, fully dressed, shoes and all. He's going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it." (pages 46-48)

If you'd like to join us on Wednesday, we'd love to see you - email for more info or to register your participation

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day & Family Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone - from your Gingerbread Lane family :) We hope have a moment to pause and show some love to those who matter most - starting with yourself - why not have a truffle? LOL

We have lots going on between Valentine's and Family Day - here's your possibilities:

Valentine's Day - Cookie Activity (full), Card Activity (3 spaces left - email to join in), general play all day

February 15th - Happy Help Child Minding has 3 spaces left - why not book an hour or three to get out with your sweetie, your friends or your shadow! Email for info or to reserve your spot

February 15th - Lovin' Ya Family Night (5:30-8:30p) Why not bring the gang in to enjoy some fun time together - order a pizza perhaps - and leave with a red balloon for your little Valentines

February 18 - Family Day - Of course we're open - we're a FAMILY centre, the holiday was practically made for us! Open (10-3p) - come on in!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Recipe Share

In the spirit of the recent changes to our Ginger Mail Newsletter, introducing the Recipe Share in the "From The Audience" column, here's a soup recipe that I tried tonight - yummy!

Tortilla Soup

1-1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
8 cups chicken broth
1 diced tomato
1 minced large jalapeno chile
1 minced clove garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 peeled, diced avocado
4 thinly sliced green onions (white and tender green parts)
3 cups broken corn tortilla chips
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

Cook the chicken in a pan with a small amount of the broth. Once cooked, shred chicken using two forks. Pour the broth into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add tomato, jalapeno, garlic, salt, and the shredded chicken. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Divide avocado and onions evenly among 4 bowls. Ladle in the hot stock and garnish with tortilla chips and cilantro evenly. Serve right away.

Leave a comment below - did you like the recipe? hate it? add some of your own touches?

Any good soup recipes?? Send to

Friday, February 8, 2008

"Buy A Slice" Program Begins!!!

We are excited to begin our newest program, based on community support and generosity. It's called the "Buy A Slice" Program and it will bring a fun and special treat for our community's seniors and children.

When you visit Gingerbread Lane, you will be given the opportunity to donate a dollar - one loonie! - to the "Buy A Slice" jar. We will post the program / facility that will be the lucky recipient of the cake that is currently being collected for and you will be offered the opportunity to sign a card with a generic greeting to the facility's residents or program's participants. We will deliver it personally to the seniors home or children's program throughout Mississauga and surrounding neighbourhoods. We welcome your suggestion of any such programs by posting a comment below.

With enough loonies collected, we will bake and decorate the nut-free treat (minimum half-slab cake) and deliver it to the lucky facility. The facility will be able to address or decorate the cake as they wish (ex. balloons, flowers, "To The Residents Of...", etc)and we will sign it "From The Gingerbread Community" making this a truly personal Gingerbread Lane gift - from you to your neighbours of all generations.

Please support the "Buy A Slice" program during your next visit. If you'd like to place a donation without visit, please email

Thank you everyone for being such a great community!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Parenting Wordshop (Registration Due by February 15) by Ann Douglas - Author and President of Mom Media - Sign Up Today!

Parenting Wordshop: A Chance To Tell Your Stories Your Way
(and, No, You Don’t Have To Be A Perfect Writer or a Perfect Parent to Sign Up)
by Ann Douglas
President Mom Media and
Author of “Mother of All…” Parenting Book Series

Session 1: Sunday Feb 24 (1-5p)
Session 2: Sunday Apr 27 (1-5p)

Parents have always shared their stories with other parents; and they have always made an effort to record the most significant moments in their parenting lives in diaries, in letter to far-flung friends and relatives, in cover- or margin-entries in treasured books.

They’ve written poems and the lyrics to lullabies; they’ve penned memoirs and short stories; they’ve authored mothering guides and mothering memoirs – and so much more.

They’ve also turned to art in an effort to convey the wide-ranging emotions and experiences of parenting: quilting, cross-stitching, scrap-booking, rock carvings, painting, photography, music, and theatre, and every other form and medium imaginable.

The Parenting Wordshop draws from that tradition by offering parents of all backgrounds, experiences, and literacy levels a chance to translate their experiences into stories.

The Parenting Wordshop consists of:
• two separate four-hour workshops held at three month intervals
• two e-newsletters sent out during the months in between to provide course participants with additional resources and inspiration so that they will stay motivated and on-track with their Parenting Wordshop projects

Cost: $80 + gst – includes 8 hours of instruction time plus two e-newsletters.
To register, email or call 905-271-2900 – registration DUE BY February 15
The group will be limited to 20 participants to provide for an optimal group experience.

Session 1
2 Hours: Perfect Writers (and Perfect Parents) Need Not Apply.
You don’t have to be a perfect writer – and you don’t have to be a perfect parent – to tell your story. This session provides some tips on dealing with the pressure to create something perfect when you’re staring at that blank screen. We’ll also address related issues like finding time and space to be creative, deciding what to write about, and dealing with privacy issues when you’re writing about your nearest and dearest. Includes interactive workshop exercises
Break: 15 Minutes
2 Hours: Wired Parents, Arty, Parents, Bookish Parents: There are as many ways to tell your story as there are stories to tell. Experimenting with a variety of different types of media – text, images, videotape, digital recording, audiotape, paper, found objects, etc – can help you tell your story. Sometimes a different type of media will prove to be more effective in portraying a particular scene or chapter in your life as a parent than text alone. In addition to letting your instincts and imagination guide you in deciding what you want to write about and how you want to tell your story, you may find that you learn from and are inspired by other parents’ stories. This will include a list of places to tap into particularly inspiring examples of parents’ writing both online and offline: blogs, online zines, books, etc. Includes interactive workshop exercises.

Session 2
2 Hours: Parentspiration!
A quick recap of what Parenting Wordshop is all about, and a chance to catch up with other participants. Parenting Wordshop project participants share what they’ve been working on – online and offline: Prepare to be inspired. “How to” tips – e.g. great resources and techniques; what helped past and present participants to get started and to motivated; etc. This will serve as the project wrap-up. I like the idea of not having “perfect” finished projects but rather samples from projects that are at various stages of completion. It will be less intimidating for parents who are still mid-stream themselves – or who haven’t even started yet!
Break: 15 minutes
2 Hours: Inspiration and Ideas to Go 15 parent-proven ways to keep moving forward with your Parenting Wordshop project, including some fun new tips – e.g., create a photo blog while you’re on vacation and use that as a launching pad to write about family vacations past, capture a particular “chapter” in your child’s development or your family’s history: e.g., the move to a new house or a community project you’re involved with as a family. Resource exchange: What resources are you finding most helpful?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Something To Ponder before Eat Pray Love Club

I came across this question in a review site for Eat Pray Love and it's one that I've wanted to ask ever since. Now that we are nearing the Club date, consider this...

Sitting in an outdoor cafĂ© in Rome, Gilbert’s friend declares that every city—and every person—has a word. Rome’s is “sex,” the Vatican’s “power”; Gilbert declares New York’s to be “achieve,” but only later stumbles upon her own word, antevasin, Sanskrit for “one who lives at the border.” What is your word? Is it possible to choose a word that retains its truth for a lifetime?

This question might intrigue you, might bore you, might frighten you...I would love to hear your word, whatever your response :) If you'd like to join us on February 20th, and haven't already signed up, send your name to or call 905-271-2900