Sunday 28 June 2015

These Classics Deserve Two Scooby Snacks! #streamteam @Netlfix_CA

Some things are classics. They never really go out of favour, and each generation adopts them as their own. 

Like Raybans and button-downs they are timeless. 

I feel that way about certain TV shows, I watched as a kid and now share with my kids. 

Lines and references like "two Scooby snacks" are part of our everyday banter, and are understood without explanation. 

I'm sure you recognize some if not all of the shows below available on Netflix CanadaTwo of our long time favourites to share and quote from are Scooby Doo and Ultimate Spiderman!

Image via Netflix

It's time to test your knowledge with a Parents versus the Kids game of 
Identify the Quote!  
Winner gets to pick which show! Loser makes the snacks! 
I'll have two Scooby Snacks please!

These are just a few classics to share with the whole family, and perfect for pizza and streaming night!

So who won the quote game, and what are you going to watch?

"This place makes me nervous, all I can think of is food" Scooby D00 - Shaggy
"I should have stayed home today." Magic School Bus - Arnold
"And with that will come great responsibility. Do you understand? Great responsibility." Spiderman - Ben Parker aka Uncle Ben
"Microwave lasagna. Possibly nature's most perfect food." Garfield - Garfield
"What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?" Magic School Bus - Wanda
"Yes Dudes and Dudettes. major-league butt-kicking is back in town." Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Michelangelo
"I'm the one who eats the icing off the pop tarts and put them back in the box." Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Donatello
"You broke the doors! That is why we can have nice stuff!" Spiderman - Spiderman

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about Netflix Streamteam.

Note: As a member of the Streamteam I receive Netflix and a streaming device free of charge for the purposes of my Netflix Streamteam posts and reviews. All opinions are my own.

Like Father, Like Son, but Twice the Price. Planning for Rising #Education Costs.

They have "the knack"

I met my husband at university, and at the time he was an engineering student. He was funny and smart and studied about things I had no understanding of. We graduated and he worked at things I had no understanding of. On occasion I'd overhear him speaking in that mystical language of tech, but it wasn't until later I realized he had "the knack."

We married and he fixed the dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer. He was my in-house IT guy and made the "interweb" and computers work. He knew magical things like science and math, and could do long multiplication and division in his head! Surely there could be no others like him. He must be one of a kind!

We lived together in marital bliss with our two young children amongst the working appliances and computers, until one day it all changed ...
my youngest started to speak the mystical language of tech with his father. My eldest and I looked on in amazement, not understanding a word they said, but realizing this meant there were not one but two with "the knack!"

My son was going to follow in his father's footsteps.

But here's the catch: twenty-five years ago my husband graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree and the tuition and residence costs for that 4-year program was between $35,000-$40,000. Today, tuition and residence for my son at the same university for a 4-year Bachelor of Engineering Degree will be between $80,000-$90,000.

The same degree at the same university is more than double the cost!

Engineering Programs are more expensive than many other programs, meaning the difference between the tuition for an Engineering and an Arts program is nearly $4,000 a year.

We're Going to Need a Plan!

By the beginning of middle school, most parents start to see the direction in which their kids' abilities and interests lie. By Grade 8, they're making decisions about whether to take Applied (college stream) or Academic (university stream) courses in high school. This is the perfect time to get kids involved and thinking about post-secondary education, saving for that education and understanding budgeting and money management

This is also a good time for kids to look into grants and scholarships. Scholarships (aka money) can be incentive to work hard and keep their grades high, since many universities offer a scholarship for high averages at the time of admission. The university I attended currently offers admission scholarships between $4,000-$16,000.

Waiting until your child knows what they want to be isn't when the plan should start. Although it's never too late to start saving for post-secondary education, the earlier you start the better.

  • TIP: If you find the language of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) to be like the mystical language of tech, the Heritage Funds Glossary of Terms might be helpful.
  • Although your child's direction and area of study won't be revealed until later, saving for that studying needs to start ideally as soon as they're born, allowing your RESPs to accumulate over time. Regular contributions can add up to big savings over 18 years. 
  • Setting up monthly auto-contributions makes it easy, and ensures you don't forget. We all have the best intentions but a plan makes it happen.
  • Starting early allows you to take advantage of all the grants you're entitled to, providing you meet the criteria.
  • TIP: An RESP is a great place to put cash gifts from family and friends, and your kids know those who care about them invested in their future! When my nieces and nephews were young I gave them a small toy and the rest was a cash gift for their education fund.
  • Be sure to check if your employer offers post-secondary scholarships to employees' children who maintain an honours average.
  • Review your RESPs and savings plan regularly to evaluate where you are compared to your goals, and if adjustments need to be made. 
  • Lastly, they say it takes a village and the Heritage Funds Blog is a community that offers resources and advice on a variety of topics from education, parenting, and finance to crafts and activities. 

You don't need to have "the knack" to put a great plan for your child's education in place, but you can't delay, so start saving today!

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about the rising cost of education.

Note: As a Heritage Mom I was compensated for this post, and for sharing my thoughts about RESPS and saving for post-secondary education. All opinions are my own and reflect my personal experience saving for my two kids' education. 

Monday 8 June 2015

Art Accessible to Everyone, At Every Budget with @Artollo #LiveWithArt

In my opinion art should evoke a response. What that response is, is personal but there needs to be one, whether to make me smile, cry, remember, or ponder.

But sometimes you need to live with the art to truly appreciate it.

When Sandy from Canadian Blog House introduced Artollo to me I spent hours looking through all their many prints. Some catching my eye because of the colour, or humour, technique, or shape. After many hours I had narrowed my choices down to about 30 prints, including the two below. I liked the elephant print because it reminded me of Babar the Elephant a favourite book of mine as a child. And it was the colours that drew me to the Zebra watercolour print. 

Image via Artollo

Image via Artollo

I asked my husband to take a look at my choices and help me decide, all of which he rejected. He chose two small prints, not large or bold in colour or subject matter. They were understated and quiet much like my husband. They would not have been my picks, but they are the ones I ordered. 

I sat with these prints for few weeks. Each time I walked by my eye was draw back to them, and like my quiet understated husband there is depth and subtle details you need to look a little deeper to find. 

Mixed in with the muted neutrals are splashes of colour, and texture. The backgrounds are not solid colours but instead textured and have a feel of patina, depth and age. 

I wonder who the boats are carrying and where are they going. If the circles of smoke were "thought bubbles" what thoughts would be in them? 
I wonder if the birds are family or friends? Is the yellow bird just relaxing or being shut out of the conversation? 

That's the wonderful thing about art it means different things to different people. It means different things to the same person at different times. 

The Artollo collection of art prints is large and diverse.  Some are fun and whimsical, some watercolours of animals or cityscapes, while others like the Orange Optimist collection uses a unique technique. 

Image via Artollo - Orange Optimist collection.

Artollo offers prints made with high quality archival paper and inks, that are trimmed by hand. Their price points and 30 day return policy makes art accessible to everyone and every budget. Plus you'll find regular promotions and discounts on the website.  
But there's more to Artollo than just prints they also offer a variety of other art objects including totes, mugs, cushions, and my favourite fantastic wall decals
Artollo on twitter and facebook.

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about about art!

Note: I received 2 prints from Artollo free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and reflect my personal experience with the brand and product.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

WHAT 2 WATCH WED #W2WW #42 #TaxiBrooklyn @Netflix_CA #NowOnNetflixCA

What to Watch! 

As you all know, "What's Good to Watch?" is a common question amongst my friends and family, and the reason why I share movie and show recommendations on Cathy Thinking Out Loud every Wednesday (aka #W2WW). This week's recommendation is Taxi Brooklyn found on Netflix Canada

Image via Netflix 

I'd love to hear what you thought of this weeks recommendation, 
and please share your suggestions in the comments section. 
Happy Streaming!

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about what to watch.

Note: I have not been compensated for this post in any way. All opinions are my own, and the purpose of this post is merely to share with my readers.