Little House on the Prairie the Musical

You loved it as a child and you still love it today for your children. Little House on the Prairie the Musical with Melissa Gilbert as “Ma” is in Toronto from January 27 – February 28, 2010 at the Canon Theatre.

Through story, song and dance in a live theater setting, this wonderful family entertainment event celebrates the pioneering spirit and the core values on which this country was founded – a spirit that still resonates within each of us today. Little House on the Prairie, the Musical is based on the beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder series of classic American books and is the perfect musical for the entire family!

“A lovely, elegant and heartwarming adaptation of the classic Laura
Ingalls Wilder novels. A moving production, which had moments of laughter as well as tears.”

- The New York Times

Be sure and use our promotional ticket price code FAITH to get a special discount on your musical tickets priced as low as $25!

For tickets: or or 800-461-3333


Do you find yourself pressed for time during the holiday season and even though you have your hands full decorating, wrapping gifts and cleaning house you still need to make something for yet another Christmas party? I have a quick and delicious answer to your baking woes! My recipe for Cake Mix Cookies was adapted from a few cake box versions. The cake mix does most of the pesky work for you since it saves on time and ingredients - the trick though is in the fixings!

✩~**~✩CAKE MIX COOKIES✩~**~✩

This recipe starts with a handy dandy cake mix and ends with cookies that are full of moist, chewy goodness! You can use any cake mix flavour and add your choice of baking chips, dried fruits, and chopped nuts. For a festive look you could use smarties or M&M's.

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spray cookie sheet with oil or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

1 box cake mix (dry state) 510 g. (18. ounces)
Hint: the yellow cake mix is very versatile
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
*1/2 cup dried fruit - raisins, cranberries, coconut, etc.
*1/4 cup chopped nuts
*1/2 cup baking chips - milk chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc.

*You can adjust these amounts to suit your taste

Using a large dinner fork, combine cake mix with vegetable oil and eggs. Fold in baking chips, dried fruit, and chopped nuts. If dough seems to thick then add small amounts of water to get the consistency for drop cookies.

Drop tablespoonful amounts of dough on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges but do not over bake!

Cook Time: 10 - 12 minutes

Yield: makes about 2 dozen large cookies

Cool on racks. Store leftovers in a covered container.

Follow Friday Folks!

I must admit that I'm hooked on Twitter and my iPhone. They really do go hand in hand. It's taken hold of me only a few months after prodding from a certain someone who started my addiction. On a recent drive in downtown Toronto, my boss/friend Erica Ehm asks me in an not so innocent tone, "Did I get you started on Twitter?" to which I replied, "Of course! Yes, you are to blame and thank you!" I guess there's worse habits to have and as of yet I have no inkling to shoo the little blue bird off my back. Twitter is a great way to network and the potential for tweet-ups is a bonus. I can't tell you how many new real friends I've made from following the members of The Yummy Mummy Club! Someone once tweeted, "Facebook is for your old friends and Twitter is for your new friends."
If you're on Twitter - and really, who isn't nowadays - then you know about the Follow Friday trend. I don't know when it all started but it was way before I signed up for Twitter. A few days after joining I quickly realized that people were giving shout-outs to their favorite peeps to follow and suggesting them to others. The tweet reads like #FF or #FollowFriday and the @Name for the person or list of people you want to recommend to others. As you might guess this sort of thing can get out of hand and it can cause some hurt feelings for those who are left off the #FF lists. If you follow quite a few people and don't have time to post #FF tweets all day then there has to be a better way, right? Recently, YMC editor/gal pal Sharon gave me a great idea when she posted a #FollowFriday video on her blog. I decided to list my faves and a few details why you should follow these folks. Sometimes 140 characters just doesn't cut it! So below is my list of peeps with sweet tweets! I will be adding to this list from time to time so keep this in mind. Please RT (re-tweet) and if you have anyone you'd like to suggest just add then in the comments! To follow me just see: @YMCbookalicious

Yummy Mummy Club Bloggers to #FF
@YummyMummyClub ~ Erica Ehm or Queen Yummy Mummy. So much flare and finesse, she's just the best!
@SharonDV ~ multitasking mom who's tweets can makes you cry or pee, seriously.
@Journeywoman ~ Follow this woman for retreat tweets that can't be beat.
@YMCbuzz ~ social networking's best butterfly.
@RachealMc ~ too much talent and so little time.
@cbernardi ~ tweets the terrific tunes.
@MoeTurner ~ fabulosity and fun all rolled into one.
@kellidaisy ~gossip girl and all around great gal.
@PartyMummy ~ super smarty that like to party hearty.
@earnestgirl ~ earnest and honest.

YMC Mompreneurs to #FF

@CandaceDx ~ she's got the tools for success.
@JulieCole ~ supermom beyond compare.
@graceannounce ~ multitasking maven.

Writers and Bookish Types to #FF

@MargaretAtwood ~ do I need to say anything more?
@SideShowAmi ~ awesome author of The Birth House. Can't wait for her next novel!
@LiseFunderburg ~ wonderful author of Pig Candy and OMG, she knows Oprah!
@KathyBuckworth ~ super author of The BlackBerry Diaries. She's real and has nerves of steel.
@Literalicious ~ super sweet, smart and she sleeps with books.

Bloggers and Navel-gazers to #FF

@seeJillrun ~ can't beat her tweets or her super fast feet
@bitofmomsense ~ sensible, sweet, yet sassy!
@littlemissmocha ~ feisty and fun
@qt_pie1602 ~ me oh my sweet as pie!
@Boredmommy ~ super smart and an honest heart
@caffeinated_mom ~ gal who brings the good goods
@those2girls ~ great gals who love to wear tiaras

Creative and Artsy Types to #FF

@CLBuchananPhoto ~ too much talent and so little time! iPhone addict? Follow her!
@JannArden ~ witty and silly - what's not to like?
@Metro4 & @jmercer5 ~ one in the same and on the way to fame

Btw, I'm not done - there's plenty more twits to come!

Boobs or Bombs? published in

In the late eighties my mother heard the news that the regional hospital received their first mammogram machine. At the time she was in her late forties and didn’t want to wait for the recommended age of fifty to receive her first mammogram. Something was nagging at my mother. Although there was no history of breast cancer in the family, she still wanted to be vigilant about her breast health. It’s a good thing she went to her family doctor and insisted on having the test. Call it intuition, a hunch or just plain worry, at age fourty seven they found cancer after my mother’s first routine mammogram. My mother went through a lumpectomy, radiation therapy and over five years of drug treatment. Flash forward to 2009 and my mother is a healthy, happy, retired, community volunteer and yoga fanatic. She’s also celebrating her twentieth year as a breast cancer survivor!

My concern now is, guess what? My breasts. This month I turn fourty three. If I look at my situation from an age standpoint and do the math, then time is a ticking! Anxiety doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings about my ever present threat! I feel as if my BOOBS are ticking time BOMBS! All the time, tick, TICK!!! It’s like I’m waiting for B-day! This makes sense if you know that I use my birthday as a reminder to make my yearly appointments for a physical and a mammogram. Aside from my monthly self exams, yearly mammograms and ultrasounds what options are left to get ahead of my threat? Gene testing? Preventative drugs? Drastic prophylactic double mastectomy? As far as I’m concerned there’s too many questions and not enough answers.

I recall one of my breast cancer phone rants with my mother. I was going on and on, fretting about all my testing concerns when my common sense mother tells me,

“get a grip, just live your life and stop worrying so much!”

Advice can be like medicine; it can be hard to take. Unfortunately, nail biting time is just around the corner with my mammogram in May. Yeah.

Boobs or Bombs was published in


In keeping with October's breast cancer awareness month I put together a collection of books and links dealing with the topic. See the list below and please help me add to the list by making suggestions below the post in the comments section.

by Robin Roberts




My published book review in REAL WOMEN CANADA MAGAZINE can be found @ in the October '08 issue under the Just For Fun section in the Reader's Corner column

My blog book review of IN CANCERLAND

I AM NOT MY BREAST CANCER: Women Talk Openly About Love and Sex, Hair Loss and Weight Gain, Mothers and Daughters, and Being a Woman with Breast Cancer by Ruth Peltason

Multitasking Mom Mourns Mistake

Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly. Do you consider yourself a multitasking mom? Is your work load taking up too many hours of your day? Are you feeling overwhelmed with your busy routine? Do you either feel stressed or numb most of the time? Are you overinvesting yourself and taking on too much? Are you sleep deprived and sleep walking through your day? Do you find it hard to wind down and may need sedatives or alcohol to relax? Do you feel as if you are spending too much time with your computer or smart phone? Are you letting some things slip through the cracks like commitments to family or friends? Do you question your priorities? Do you feel you may need to reprioritize your life and put your family first for a change? Can you imagine a terminally ill person looking back on their life wishing they had spent more time at work? I doubt it! Sometimes it takes a wake up call to alert us overwhelmed moms and teach us a lesson about changing our priorities in life. If you want to hear a heart wrenching story that serves as a word of warning from a Mom who got her wakeup call too late then visit this Oprah link. For more stories go to
Here's to putting family first!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is traditionally breast cancer awareness month. We are inundated with images of pink ribbons and placards designed to encouraged us to donate and participate in a run/walk for the cure. As the saying goes "it's all good" but personally I don't need a specific month to become more aware of breast cancer. It's on my mind every month and I dare say practically every day! Sigh.

My mother is nearing her 20th year as a breast cancer survivor. In the early 90's she found out the regional hospital had their first mammogram machine and she didn't want to wait for the recommended age of 50. She said something was nagging at her and it was a good thing she insisted on the test. Call it intuition, a hunch or just plain worry, at age 47 they found cancer after her routine mammogram. I watched helplessly as my mother went through a lumpectomy, radiation therapy and over 5 years of drug treatment. My problem is I'm 42. If you do the math things don't look good and anxiety doesn't even begin to describe my feelings about my ever present threat. I feel as if my BOOBS are ticking time BOMBS! All the time, tick, TICK!!! Aside from monthly self exams, yearly mammograms and ultrasounds what are my options to get ahead of this threat? Gene testing? Preventative drugs? Drastic prophylactic double mastectomy? Too many questions and not enough answers. Recently I went on a phone rant with my mother. I was fretting about all my testing issues and my common sense mother tells me to "get a grip, just live my life and stop worrying so much." Advice can be like medicine, sometimes it's hard to take.
Back to sighing.

Wanda Lynne Young

If you want to see actress Christina Applegate's breast cancer story then visit the link below:

Healthcare: To Pay Or Not To Pay?

That is the question...or maybe it's just a matter of choice.

It's a fact that as Canadian citizens we enjoy the privilege of government funded heath care. In reality, Londoners are well aware of the shortcomings in the health care system. We have to deal with the long standing doctor shortage, the patient/doctor waiting lists and endure the crowded clinics, not to mention the long wait times for visits to specialists or surgery. We certainly know the second meaning of the word patient. Up to 30,000 Londoners do not have a family doctor. These patients seeking medical attention need to play "catch as catch can" in the system, relying mostly on drop-in clinics to pick up the slack. Londoners need to be made aware of a new hybrid of public/private health care available here in London. Medpoint Health Care Centre has recently opened it's doors in Galleria London.As soon as I entered the centre's reception area I realized this was not like any medical establishment I'd ever seen before. The Medpoint atmosphere is a far cry from the typical doctor's office, medical clinic or hospital setting. The health center is decorated with serene spa inspired decor and soothing jazz music plays to help the clients relax. President Alex Hanham mentions that "it's all designed to minimize the white coat syndrome". He jokes that his job is to keep the Perrier stocked.Medpoint offers both OHIP covered public service and private pay services. If you need OHIP covered service, there is a walk-in style clinic available where they offer physicals and more OHIP covered tests and services than the regular clinics.MedPoint also offers a Comprehensive Annual Health Assessment (CAHA)for a $400. fee. This executive style health assessment is available to individuals and businesses. It's geared at clients who aim to have a proactive approach to health. Hanham points out that knowledge is power .Another factor Hanham wants to stress is Medpoint's efficiency. He mentions that patients can become frustrated with the health care system, waiting times, travel, etc. In one appointment a client can get up to 80 tests, including vision, hearing, lung function, electrocardiogram, fitness and nutrition evaluations, just to name a few. As a Medpoint client, I was given my first opportunity to have a bone density screening test. During the follow up visit clients will receive a copy of their Medpoint CAHA Results Report. The physician will also give the client recommendations for risk factor management, lifestyle changes and medical treatment options where necessary.In essence, Medpoint offers a combination of screening, follow up, feedback, referrals and ongoing care. From a woman's perspective I appreciate that Dr. Sylvia Murchison is an expert in women's health issues and designed the CAHA to address female concerns. The MedPoint atmosphere was designed with comfort in mind and it worked to put me more at ease during my visit. I was impressed with the efficiency of the testing and the staff's professionalism. I would highly recommend Medpoint Health Care Centre if you want to take a proactive approach to your health or anyone looking for a family physician. Here's to your health!
Healthcare: To Pay Or Not To Pay was published in the September '07 issue of Real Women Magazine.

Holiday Gifts & Wishes

I don’t know about you but I find that wracking my brain to come up with ideas for gift giving during the holiday tends to take the joy out of the season. Who needs to add this chore to their to-do list? Not me. Real Women Magazine wanted to alleviate this stress for our readers and give you some gift giving ideas. We hit the streets to ask men and women what they wanted to receive for the holiday season. 71 women and 71 men were posed the question,

The answers fall into the categories below.

If your loved can relate to the Seinfeld show line, "serenity now!"mantra then vouchers for babysitting, daycare or house keeping services might be a welcome gift. If it’s more of a zen feeling you want to give then try yoga or meditation classes, a massage or go for the gusto and give the lucky person a spa retreat. Other ideas would be simple pleasures like house plants, a table top waterfall feature or a relaxing spa music C.D. You may want to consider arranging for a family portrait or planning a family reunion. Give the gift of warmth with a wool sweater or scarf. Other options could be an electric blanket or a magic bag for those cold winter nights. Books are always a good bet whether you go for a novel, self help, special interest or a coffee table book. If you have a favorite book then pass it along with an I owe you note to take the person to lunch. For the person who appreciates culture you may want to look into a pass to a local museum or art gallery. Think outside the gift box.

If the person of interest knows the song "take a little trip, take a little trip" then try a getaway package, a retreat and/or a hotel stay for a Niagara Falls winery tour, a Toronto hot spot or tourist event. If it’s too late for a year end holiday vacation then consider making plans for the March break. Local travel agents can point you in the right direction or you can get some last minute deals on-line. Make sure the time lines work for all people concerned and don’t underestimate the anticipation of planning for a vacation. A coffee table book or tourist brochures highlighting the destination can hold them over. Keep in mind that the local theater arts and music community put on plays and concerts for a short getaway from it all experience.

If the person responds to the title "gadget guru"then a visit to an electronics store is your best bet. If you know what the person really wants then go for it but otherwise sticking to a gift card is a better choice. Sometimes the best sales occur after Christmas. To get a hold of those hard to find items and maybe get a better deal try ordering from the on-line stores. When it comes to the newest and the latest it’s hard to keep up with the technology so on-line credit style cards for downloads and gadgets might come in handy. So much is available from movies, music, video games, computers, software to accessories.

If the phrase "turn over a new leaf" resonates with the person you have in mind then fitness classes, a club membership, workout gear and equipment might be high on their wish list. Keep the commitment level in mind and consider the buddy system for added encouragement and possible savings. Make sure the person has at least hinted about joining a gym and pick sports or classes you know they will enjoy. A word of warning here, gifts having anything to do with weight loss can and most likely be taken the wrong way so keep those ideas under your hat until New Years.

If the person appreciates the movie line "show me the money!"or they tend to be in the hard to shop for category then try a gift card to a big box store, tickets to a sports events, dinner vouchers, movie passes, lottery tickets or cash. Here’s a hint about giving cash as a gift; some people might be insulted but it’s your call.

If their gift needs to scream "bling, bling!" then consider jewelry made by local artisans to get unique, one of a kind or custom made pieces. Look for interesting vintage jewelry in auctions and antique stores; chunky and retro styled rings, pendants and necklaces are in this season. Monogrammed items like key chains and business card cases can add that special personal touch. Really this is a can’t miss category but when it comes to women’s rings here’s a hint; a woman’s ring size usually corresponds to her shoe size. Don’t quote me on this but at least it’s a good place to start.

The biggest tip I can recommend overall is to make a list of people, their interests and your gift ideas and take it with you when shopping or else everything, anything or nothing will look good! Might I suggest giving a great gift of a subscription to a wonderful magazine like say Real Woman Magazine! I want to thank the people who took the time out of their day to chat and also thank the spirited Ashley and Katie for their support. For added festive interest try reading the lists with the song ‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’ running through your head. ( That tip is courtesy of my son Tyler ) Stupendous shopping and happy holidays all!

a man
to be fit
to have the family together
a puppy
a digital camera
peace and quiet
something big
health and happiness
good health
a trip to Mexico
gold earrings
a new car
a vacation
magazine subscription to Bon a Petite
can’t think of anything
nothing in particular
a family gathering
warm p.j.’s
a digital camera
anything with diamonds
a print for the office
piano lessons
time with family
good health
health and happiness
nothing at all
a trip to Cuba
gold earrings
nothing special
gift cards
a watch
a holiday vacation
peace and quiet
peace in the world
a blanket
a vacation anywhere
a trip to Mexico
pots and pans
a family portrait
a plasma t.v.
Christmas sucks
to win the lottery
theater tickets
Rick Mercer Report The Book
I need nothing
to win the lotto 649
a spa day
fuzzy socks
new coffee mugs
a travel voucher
a new coat
a vacation
a spa gift certificate
rest and relaxation
a trip to the Bahamas
a well son
a massage
anything gold
a new wedding band

a healthy, happy grandson
peace of mind
a trip
time with family
a trip to the British Virgin Islands
I don’t know
just something nice
no fights in the family
something from Future Shop
a vacation
a large plasma television
a new car
to get my mortgage paid off
a trip to Costa Rica
a Ferrari
a vacation
a trip to China
a new job
a fitness membership
new golf shoes
a restful holiday
to be with family
a DVD player
a trip
to spend time with family
a trip to Florida
a break from it all
a trip to Cuba
socks, seriously I need socks
nothing , I don’t celebrate
an ipod
an iphone
golf clubs
an amplifier
a robot vacuum
peace, love and quiet
a guitar and amp
PS3 and games
a motorcycle
a new computer
nothing really
some cash
black leather boots
a gas or electric scooter
an ipod
a bike
a watch
a trip to Europe
a digital camera
a Tiger Woods golf club
health and happiness for everyone
Canadian Tire money
a condensed work week
any power tool
weights and workout equipment
a partridge in a pear tree
time to relax and unwind
a gift card
tickets to a sports event
a mouse for my Mac
gas for my car

Ready,Set, Date!

Single in in the city? The traditional dating scene might be too dated for you. You may have limited yourself to fix ups, blind dates or just plain waiting around for Mr. or Mrs. Right. After a long day or an even longer week who has time to waste scanning profiles on line in search for your soul mate? Let me tell you about a modern new take on the singles dating scene. The name of the game is speed dating.This story starts out with a single, 40 something female trying her hand at a speed dating event. "Nikki" took the stairs up to the retro style martini bar. After a few of years out of the dating scene, she was decidedly a bit nervous. Oblivious to her dreamy appearance, she second guessed her outfit of choice. She felt a bit uncomfortable going to this event alone and wished she had met with friends at the downstairs eatery. "A girl can always use a boost to her confidence in a circumstance like this!" Nikki casually mingled with the friendly participants as they helped themselves to tasty hors d’oeuvres and trendy drinks at the open bar. There was pleasant chit chat among the guests before the charming male host introduced himself and started to explain the evenings event. As it goes, each female participant sits at a table and the males rotate around in 8 minute intervals. There were 10 women and 8 men. Normally they strive for equal numbers but 2 men were a no-show. Everyone was dressed to impress, so to speak. Each person had a card where they could write down the names of the participants they "date" for 8 minutes. After each meeting you can discretely write yes or no to indicate whether the date was a hit or a miss. Nikki gets to converse with 8 very different men. It’s a whirlwind of questions, answers and new faces to meet and greet in a party style atmosphere. Nikki admits "it was hard to keep my wits about me!" She took time in between each chat to fan herself with the score card. After all, it was the hottest day of the season to date!Nikki described three men that she found interesting.Bachelor #1 had an attractive smile and a congenial personality.Bachelor #2 was a pleasant conversationalist with a sweet boyish face.Bachelor #3 had a charming manner and was easy on the eyes.Nikki mentioned that she has to endure a couple of dull drawls about business from a couple of her dates.One of her dates actually talked non-stop about himself and didn’t let her get a word in. When the 8 minutes of chat time were up the guy said "Oh, I didn’t even get your name?" Silently, Nikki pointed to her name tag. On a more positive note, a novel question was posed to our participant when a man thoughtfully asked "how do you describe Nikki?"The speed dating participants have 8 minutes to get to know each other. The host in this event taps on a martini glass to signal the men to switch tables. Everyone gets a chance to meet each participant from the opposite sex. There is time to make notes on each person and indicate whether you are interested in further contact. The aim of the speed dating game is to get a match. If you check "yes" to a person and that person checks "yes" to you then "voila" you get a match. If you get any matches then the next day you will be e-mailed contact information on each other. After that you can take it from there on your own. If there are no matches then you can try, try again as the adage goes. There is a startup cost which some could consider pricey but you do enjoy food and drink along with the promise of pleasant conversation. After attending your first speed dating event further dating event costs are reduced and vary according to your interest level.As far as Nikki’s experience, she found it to be an enjoyable experience and she is very likely going to participate in future speed dating events. After a stint being off the market she would like to keep her options open and get more comfortable easing her way back into the dating game. Speed dating is a good way to meet a variety of interesting people without having to mingle aimlessly in a crowd or commit to a single date. As well, Nikki notes that "you get to cut to the chase" if you know what questions to ask. Nikki would definitely recommend speed dating to other singles as a good way to broaden your horizons.If you are interested to participate in a swanky speed dating event then speed dating might be worth a try or even a try, try, again for that matter. Get out there and get in the game, right? Ready, set, date!
Wanda Lynne

Ready, Set, Date! was published in the July/August '07 issue of Real Women Magazine.

Kittens vs Cougars

Kittens vs Cougars

Has anyone noticed a resurgence of the term "cougar" being used to describe 40 something women? I recall this term being bantered about in the late 80's or early 90's but now it's back in style or so it seems. I think this title was coined by an actual group of women and introduced to the public by a talk show. The theme of the show presumably dealt with women who were on the prowl for much younger boy toys. Now, lets flash forward to the current brain numbing drivel called "reality t.v." and take a gander at the show "The Age Of Love." Apparently the show managed to find some lame brains who were willing to participate in a competition that pits 20 something "kittens" against 40 something "cougars" all vying for a 30 something man. What a sweet, heart warming premise that would certainly make a great story for the couples potential grandkids. If you are a fan of this show or any similar show that makes women compete against each other for the attention of a man then maybe you should stop reading this post. Then again maybe you should read on. If you haven't already figured out by my tone where I stand on this, then let me spell it out. This show and the feline labelling of women is offensive! As a matter of a fact I would give it a very poor report card of all D's namely:Degrading, Demeaning, Disparging, Defaming, Distasteful, Disgusting, Dispicable, Disgraceful, Disturbing and basically Dumb. Is society becoming so shallow that we need to perpetuate these stereotypes and grouping of women by age? Do we really want daughters to feel as if they could be in competition with their mother for the same boyfriend? Just my opinion.

Wanda Lynne

The Late Great Grandma Eva

The Late Great Grandma Eva

On June 23, 2007 my Grandma Eva Derouin passed away at age 88. She put us all to shame with her level of energy and her strong will. We all marvelled at her tenacious nature and loved her for it. She was stubbornly independent and didn't let her blindness or deafness slow her down. If you ever attempted to do a chore for her she would yell "I'm not dead yet!" She will be fiercely missed by all who knew her and remembered as a generous, caring, wonderful woman. She even took the time to save her Canadian Tire money for her Great-grandkids. Here's to Great-Grandma Eva and her back in the good old days style of cooking and baking. We will always remember Eva asking us "Do you want some more gravy?" Here, here Grandma!

Wanda Lynne