Monday 31 October 2016

Mark Your Calenders! Netflix Original Series #TheCrown premieres Nov 4th @Netflix_CA #Streamteam

 The Crown

A new Netflix Original premieres November 4th, 2016, and it's GOOD!

I had the privilege of attending a Netflix Canada event where not only did I get to watch the first two episodes of The Crown, but also participate in a short Question and Answer session with Jarod Harris and Vanessa Kirby, who star in this exciting new Netflix Original series about Queen Elizabeth II. In the first episode we're introduced to a 25 year old and newlywed Princess Elizabeth, who overnight finds herself Queen of England with all the responsibilities the position and title come with. 

Jarod and Vanessa were delightful ...
Both Jarod Harris, who plays the role of King George VI (Queen Elizabeth II's father) and Vanessa Kirby who plays the role of Princess Margaret (Queen Elizabeth II's sister) had the crowd hanging on their every word as they shared personal stories and insights on everything from the costumes and preparing for their roles, to their personal favourite British Royal. Of course they talked about some of their favourite series they're streaming on Netflix these days. Next we moved on to a delicious meal and cocktails made with Earl Grey Infused Gin, followed by a screening of the first two episodes.

I'm hooked! 
Not surprising since this drama offers viewers stories of life, love and politics, beautiful settings, gorgeous fashion and jewels, and a glimpse of a bared royal bottom just to spice things up. This one is definitely going on my What To Watch List!

Below are the trailers to help tide you over until November 4th ...
At which point you'll need to hold court and determine who'll be sovereign ruler over the remote, and who will be knighted official royal (snack) taster. 

Require a bigger dose of Royal-themed binging? These are currently available on Netflix:
  • The Queen
  • The Royals
  • Secrets of Great British Castles
  • Man Who Killed King Richard III
  • The Young Victoria
  • Gunpowder, Treason & Plot
Remember to use the #streamteam hashtag to follow all the Netflix Streamteam adventures, and Netflix on twitter and facebook for updates and info.

Happy Streaming! 

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about The Crown. 

Note: As a Netflix Streamteam member I receive special perks for #Streamteam participation, posts and sharing. All opinions are my own.  

Sunday 30 October 2016

Word Association: Pre and Post Test Driving the #FordFlex @FordCanada

Driver Start Your Engine!

(Sorry, but it just had to be said)

First a little bit about me ...
A very long time ago my husband made the mistake of questioning something I did, and informed me he was in charge of all things mechanical. From that point on, in my mind almost everything became "mechanical". I have no desire to know or learn what each button or setting in the vehicle I drive does ... that's "mechanical" and therefore does not fall under my realm of responsibility. Although I'm fully capable of learning how to reset the time on the microwave after a power outage, or sync my phone to the Bluetooth in my van, I choose to remain non-"mechanical". As luck would have it, possessing the non-"mechanical" trait made me uniquely qualified to test drive the Ford Flex, because, if I can figure it out anyone can, and User Friendly makes for Friendly Users. 

A Pre-Test Drive Game of Word Association:

What does this manly-man "Built Ford Tough" truck have to offer me? And why should a smart, strong, independent, but non-"mechanical" girlie-girlie think twice before dismissing the Ford Flex? Turns out there were a lot more reasons than I thought. 

Here's what I discovered driving the Ford Flex, and few of my favourite features:
(If you're looking for a list of specs and auto-talk, I'm not your wo-man. I deal in impressions. (see link at end of post for all the spec-tacular info).

1) Voice Activated - Touch Screen Navigation System*:  This is one of my favourite features! I love that I didn't have to stop the vehicle or take my eyes off the road to use the navigation system. As a women who's spent years driving alone at night or with kids, it's always made me nervous stopping at the side of the road, or in an empty parking lot to set the GPS. I'm also a fan of the large touch screen display! It's very user-friendly, which is a must for "non-mechanicals" like me. 

2) SYNC3* and SYNC With MyFord: Again this was SO easy to use, and no reinforcements were called to sync my phone to the Flex's Bluetooth. My biggest issue was getting my evil offspring to "Back Away From the Display!" It was worse than the TV remote! By the end of the week we managed to seamlessly sync and un-sync an iPhone, Blackberry and Android phone. I'm also a fan of the in-console USB ports which allow for charging devices, while keeping them out of sight of potential thieves, or anyone who might be tempted to text and drive. 

3) Power Fold 3rd Row Seats*: This makes it so easy to stow and go with the push of a button. Although not officially listed as an entertainment option, in my opinion pushing the button and watching the seats stow and un-stow is very entertaining. I'm a bit embarrassed to share exactly how many times I pushed the buttons, but let's just say more than you can count on two hands. 

4) Climate Control with Heated and Cooled Front Seats*: I became an instant fan of this feature, since I test drove the Flex during a summer heat wave. Nothing worse than burning hot leather seats in the summer, and nothing better than cooled temperature controlled seats!  

5) BLIS* (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert: I've driven a van for more than 15 years, and one of my biggest issues with a big vehicle is visibility and blind spots. This safety feature is fabulous, and although I have no statistics, I believe it must result in fewer collisions and save lives. Kudos to Ford for continuing to develop technologies like BLIS and second-row Outboard Inflatable Seat Belts. 

6) Multi-Panel Vista Roof*: If I'm honest I don't really give much thought to the evil offspring sitting behind me, but I must say the multiple sun roof option is rather wonderful. Clearly Ford and I differ on this matter, since the design and features in the Flex demonstrate they, unlike myself, have given much thought to the comfort of those in the second row.

Other note-worthy available* options ...

(Note: * available options mentioned may have additional costs associated with them)

A Post-Test Drive Game of Word Association:

This experience reminded me not to make assumptions ... because we all know what happens when we do that. If asked "Have you driven a Ford lately?" I would answer Yes! and enjoyed even minute of it. 

For more information about the Ford Flex Specs, Options and Features please visit: And be sure to check out Ford Canada on twitter and facebook

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about the Ford Flex.

Disclosure: I received the use of a 2016 Ford Flex from Ford Canada for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own. I would like to thank the staff at Ford Canada (and Melissa) for making this such a pleasant experience. I found Ford to be not just user-friendly, but also service-friendly! 

Friday 28 October 2016

New CEO (Candy Endowment Officer) effective Oct 31st @Netflix_CA #streamteam

Important Human Resource Announcement!

To Whom It May Concern: 
After many years as CTOL's CFO (Costume Fabrication Officer) Ms. Canton will be stepping down from this role to assume the position of CEO (Candy Endowment Officer) at CTOL effective October 31st. Please join us in thanking Ms. Canton for all her many years of devoted service in the position of CFO, and wish her luck in her new role. 

As the new CEO, Ms. Canton's duties will include (but are not limited to): managing the acquisition and distribution of all candies, treats and pumpkins, as well as quality control of all tricks and Jack-O-Lanterns. In addition Ms. Canton will take on the responsibility of synopsizing streaming options for October 31st deemed most advantageous for specific viewer market segments.

Appendix #1: Report on Streaming Options by Market Segment:
*Note: These streaming options are deemed appropriate for viewing during as well as pre and post the October 31st streaming period. 

Appendix #2: Recommended Viewing for CEO position:
Various studies found streaming some of Netflix recently added series listed below help to dramatically improved several key Adult CEO skill sets, resulting in enhanced overall professional development. 

  • Stranger Things
  • Frequency 
  • Grinder
  • Jamaica Inn
Once again please join us in congratulating Ms. Canton on her new position, I know we can rely on everyone to fully supporting her streaming initiatives, thereby helping to ensure all have the happiest of Halloweens. 

CTOL HR Department 

Note: As a Netflix Streamteam member I receive special perks for #Streamteam participation, posts and sharing. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Ontario HPV Vaccine program expanded to include boys. #ONhpv Just one way we can protect our kids.

Protecting my kids is just part of the job. 

Since they were born keeping my kids safe and protecting them, while giving them the space and freedom to grow has been part of the parenting job. At times this has been as simple as making sure they had the right equipment, while at other times it's been more challenging, such as teaching them to use that equipment. I don't always get it right, but it's not for lack of trying. 

When my two boys were in middle-school the program to administer the HPV Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine to Grade 8 girls started. At the time I thought two things: 1) Isn't is great that there is a proactive way to protect against a virus linked to a variety of cancers. 2) Should my boys also get the HPV Vaccination? At the time my husband and I had several conversations about this, but life got in the way and the decision regarding this ended up being pushed to the bottom of the To Do list. 

Fast forward ten years and my kids are now young adults, one at university and the other at college. They are at an age where they'll be making (hopefully good) decisions about sex and relationships, and although I can no longer step in to protect them as I did when they were toddlers, I can have important conversations with them about how they can protect themselves. The topic of boys receiving the HPV Vaccine seems to be everywhere (on TV, the doctor's office, social media and in the news) and once again my husband and I are talking about our boys and the HPV vaccination. In the past I thought of vaccinating my boys because males can be carriers of HPV, and have a responsibility to protect their partner, but this time around I've learned HPV is also linked to cancer risks for males, so by vaccinating against HPV it would proactively protect against the most common types of HPV and these cancers. 

As of September 2016, the Ontario school-based program to administer the HPV Vaccine has been expanded to include both boys and girls in Grade 7, thereby making protection against HPV an easy one. 
  • HPV is a common infectious disease, infecting approximately three out of four sexually active Canadians. 
  • HPV can lead to cancer.
  • Experts recommend vaccinating youth between 9 and 13 years of age when the vaccine is most effective.
  • Infections caused by the most common types of HPV can be prevented with the vaccine. 
For those in Ontario with boys or girls in middle-school; the school-based clinics provide HPV vaccination free of charge making the process easy to cross off your To Do list. I wish this option had been available when my boys were in Grade 7, and regret not putting the HPV vaccination to the top of my To Do list earlier. Although I will need to purchase the vaccine, I'm still encouraging them to get vaccinated since it protects against several types of HPV, and they will still benefit from getting the HPV Vaccine. 

For more information about HPV, or the HPV Vaccination program in Ontario, please visit:

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about the HPV Vaccine and protecting my kids. 

"This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions of the author are their own."

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Family Movie Night & Older Kids - Adapting to the Now #streamteam @Netflix_CA

Carving out Family Time With My Young Adult Kids:

Life as a parent is ever evolving, and requires an ability to adapt to the realities of now while keeping an eye on the end goals. It use to be easy, but as my kids get older connecting as a family has become increasingly more challenging, yet more important than ever in my opinion. 

As teens and young adults I think my kids actually need more family time and opportunities to connect and have important conversations about life, school, relationships or just hang out with Mom and Dad. I believe this regular casual bonding time while growing up leads to connections and trust that will make even the hard conversations of the future possible. Having said that I'm really struggling this year to try to carve out some family and/or one on one time with my kids. My eldest is in college and my youngest is in residence at university with vastly different schedules, but I refuse to let go of at least the occasional family movie night (or afternoon). Nothing beats hearing my kids' spontaneous belly laugh while watching a comedy, or their audio effects made while watching an action flick. 

Streaming With Your Young Adults:


  • Luke Cage
  • Spotless
  • Arrested Development 

  • Ride Along
  • The Fundamentals of Caring
  • RED and RED 2
  • Jump Street 21 and Jump Street 22

Our family has a long tradition of Friday Family Movie Night that started when my kids were toddlers and continued until they were well into high school. So for those of you with younger kids here are some options to start or reboot your family movie night tradition. 

Streaming With Younger Kids:

  • Kazoops
  • Kulipari: An Army of Frogs
  • Veggietales in the House


  • Maleficent
  • Planes: Fire & Rescue
  • Zootopia
  • Tangled
  • The Princess and The Frog
  • Treasure Planet
  • Oceans
  • Cool Runnings
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Even though it may be a bit trickier to schedule, it's well worth the effort to grab some snackages and watch a movie with the kids regardless of how old they are. 

Use the #StreamTeam hashtag to follow all the Netflix StreamTeam adventures, and Netflix on twitter and facebook for updates and info.

Note: As a Netflix StreamTeam member I receive special perks for my #streamteam participation posts and sharing. All opinions are my own.