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Hurray for Canada: An Opportunity to Share What You Love Most about our Country this Canada Day

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on July 1, 2015 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

Happy Canada Day!!


Will you be celebrating?


If you are, I hope you have safe and fun festivities.


I also wondered if you’d like to share what you love most about Canada.


Here are a few of my favourite things about being Canadian:


1) I often say “eh” at the end of my sentences. It’s apparently a Canadian thing. (Though, not exclusive to Canadian speech, it’s just common for Canadians to use it, especially me! I usually use “eh” at the end of my sentence to encourage a reply.)

2) I love the fact that we’re neighbors to the U.S. I think the coolest spot in Ontario is the Niagara Falls region. I find it fascinating that I’m standing on Canadian ground yet just across the water is America’s state of New York. How awesome!


3) I grew up in the Muskoka region in Ontario. Muskoka was first (first!!) on the list out of 10 Best Summer Trips in 2011 by National Geographic Traveler in 2011. Celebrities come to the Muskoka region, like Tom Hanks, Martin Short, and Kate Hudson. I’ve also seen pictures of actress, Tori Spelling, in our newspaper (back in the summer of 2013). I am fascinated by Hollywood, so knowing “famous people” visit the Muskoka region does intrigue me.


Please tell me what you think, too, eh!


What do you love best about Canada? You can share in the Comments section (below). Thanks so much!



Catherine, Publisher of SprinkleGoodness.com

P.S.: Here's a wee groundhog to wish you a Happy Canada Day, too!

A Winter Wonderland in Spring

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on April 18, 2014 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

How is the weather for your spring?

Today feels like spring again – windows are open in my office, fresh air is flowing in, birds are chirping, the snow is melting... just lovely.

But earlier this week – on Tuesday morning – I woke up to a winter wonderland. Snow covered the trees… snow carpeted the ground again… and it snowed throughout most of the day.

The first day of spring (March 20th) was snowing for us, too. Now, I must admit – I do love walks in the snow. But being spring (and still snowy), it inspired a photo idea. I’ll share it with you in a moment.

First, I’d like to share some photos of the little birds and a chipmunk that visited the other day… as the snow started to melt again…

As for that photo idea I came up with...

Well, I had purchased several packages of glittery Easter eggs from the store, Dollar Tree.


With the glittery eggs -- I originally wanted to spell the word SPRING on a white background inside my home studio. But with all our “winter wonderland” days – during the spring season – I came up with another idea.

Here it is:

As I write this, my photo has been accepted into four stock photo agencies: Fotolia, Deposit PhotosDreamstime and Bigstock. It’s also in a fifth stock photo agency called Most Photos.

It took me a while to get this photo right. But in the process of improving my photography – to get the right shot – it helped me create “a stock photo checklist.” This checklist is now something I can refer to, to help me choose the strongest image for stock photo agencies.

If you’re interested in stock photography, this checklist can help you select the strongest photos for submission... increasing the likelihood they get accepted for sale, too. You can find my stock photo checklist here (link coming soon!).



Hop on the Train to See Santa this Dec 21, 2013

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on December 16, 2013 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

If you're visiting or live in the Huntsville, Ontario area...

...You can hop aboard a steam train to see Santa Claus!

This Saturday, December 21st, the historic steam train (known as The Portage Flyer) at Muskoka Heritage Place, takes you on a one-kilometer trip along the Muskoka River to the “North Pole.”

Once you arrive at the “North Pole,” you’ll see a festively-decorated cabin, and inside, you’ll wait in line, for your turn to meet Santa. Bring your camera. The last time Matt and I went there, there was no photographer. There was however, one of Santa’s helpers. She offered to take our picture with Santa, using our camera. You can see our memory of meeting Santa here.

The event is called a “Portage Flyer Christmas.” It’s a wonderful experience. It changed me and warmed my heart.

By this I mean, I did feel a little odd (at first) being an adult, waiting in line to meet Santa. Most people had children with them. But us? Just Matt and I, both in our 30s. And, the rational “grown up” side of me was saying something like, “It’s just someone dressed up as Santa.”

BUT when it was our turn to “meet” Santa, and he greeted us, I felt something change inside of me... All that wonder and belief I had as a kid came bubbling back. Here I was meeting Santa!!

If I remember correctly, I even had tears of joy filling up in my eyes. “The kid in me” was back!! I felt… really felt… the spirit of Christmas. I was reminded how magical this time of year is.

(I’m reminded too, by a mass we attended, that the reason for the Christmas season is Jesus. And, as much as I enjoyed meeting “Santa,” it is important for me to humbly remember that the birth of Jesus is why we celebrate Christmas.)

In the spiritual sense, I also believe that Santa represents Saint Nicholas (a Christian Bishop, known for his generosity in helping those in need).

Christmas is a special time of year, and we are hoping to take our niece to see Santa Claus at the “North Pole.”

The train ride to see Santa is only happening for one evening though. (Because, Santa, after all, has lots of work to do, as he prepares to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve!). So, here are more details if you’re interested in traveling in a train to see Santa:

  • WHEN: Saturday, December 21st, 2013

  • TIME: 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. (NOTE: The last train leaves at 7:30 pm)

  • PRICE: $5 per person; taxes included. (It’s the same price for kids and adults.) Matt paid by cash, for us. Also note – you can only buy tickets at the event. Just look for the line-up of people (it’s possible the line-up will already be so long, people are standing outside the train station).

Stand in line. And once you get inside the building, you’ll have an opportunity to buy tickets. Once you’ve got your ticket, it’s just a little more waiting until it’s your turn to board the train!

Here too, are...

5 Tips for a Memorable Train Ride to

See Santa in Muskoka -- a.k.a. the “North Pole”

1) Dress very, very, very warmly. Temperatures are expected to get as low as -11°C on Saturday (and since this a popular event, with lots of people attending, you might need to wait in line, outside, for a while). The train also has open-aired coaches (meaning, no glass windows; it really is cold air circulating through the sitting areas). So although it is a short train ride (maybe 5 minutes, or even less, in one direction) it is chilly.

2) Show up early. The first train leaves at 5 p.m. on December 21st. And, we plan on arriving for 4 p.m. I’m not even sure if this is enough time. I thought we were doing well for time the last time we attended. And, I was surprised to see a super-long line of people. But as a rule of thumb – showing up earlier = better!

3) Bring your camera. There was no photographer on site when we went previously. Just Santa’s helper. So, having your camera means Santa’s helper can use your camera to snap a great memory! (No camera means no visual memory.)

4) Love hot chocolate and cookies? If yes, this is another good reason to show up early! It is only right to take one (complimentary) hot chocolate and one cookie (okay, maybe two cookies) so there’s enough for everyone who attends.

5) Keep an eye out for the guestbook. Shortly before we entered the train station, we saw a guestbook outside and we signed it. Not sure if Santa saw it. But, it was fun signing it, proving Catherine and Matt really were going to the “North Pole!!”

This event is fun. If you go, I hope you have wonderful memories. And, if you’d like to share what your experience was like, I welcome your thoughts. You can comment on this blog or reach me here on the contact page.




Almaguin Highlands Wildlife: Chipmunk Stocking Up on Food

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on June 21, 2013 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

One of my favourite things from working from home is seeing the wildlife.

I look out my office window, and at our bird feeder - or close to it - I enjoy seeing doves, finches, blue jays, and even chipmunks stocking up on food!

My husband filmed this video of a little chipmunk at the bird feeder and edited it for my website. I love chipmunks and with a little patience, Matt caught it looking straight at the camera! Adorable.

Here is a bird feeder, available at Amazon.com, very close to the one you'll see in the video: Birdscapes 367 Tulip Garden Lantern Bird Feeder