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How to get a truly great idea off the ground

April 1st, 2016 by

Got an innovative idea? Here's how to make that dream a reality.


Ever hear of an idea that was so cool and innovative, it made you sit up and think, ‘hey, that’s smart.’?

Maybe you, or someone you know, has an idea for a new way to help kids. Something novel that is creative, original and resourceful—and that will affect many children and their ability to learn, or to be successful, or just to be happy, healthy kids. After all, as moms, we are the experts on kids and the special ways they learn, grow, and develop.

If you’ve got an idea, the Canadian Scholarship Trust wants to know. Because they want to help make your idea a reality, and they’ve got the resources and the money—to the tune of $250,000 to be exact—to make it happen.

Every year the CST challenges individuals, communities, and organizations across Canada to come up with innovative ideas that support the growth and development of kids from infancy up to 17 years of age. It’s called The Learning Project, and projects both big and small are welcome, with a total of 30 prizes to be won.

What qualifies as a good idea?

That’s up to you, and other parents, teachers, community members...anyone who votes! The field of submissions is narrowed first by voting, and then the top 20 ideas will advance to the final round to be judged by an impressive panel: everyone’s favourite singing spaceman, the one and only Col. Chris Hadfield; Olympic skeleton champion and host of The Amazing Race Canada, Jon Montgomery; and TV personality and anchor of CTV’s eTALK, Ben Mulroney.

Don’t have an idea, but love the idea of movers and shakers in your community getting the funding they need to get an awesome idea off the ground? One word: vote! Your peers need votes to advance to the next round and get their ideas seen by the judges, so spread the word any way you can. Use your social networking sites, email, posters, and word of mouth…whatever you can.

Support & share your favourite ideas

Ideas must be registered by April 29 (but try and take advantage of their Early Bird draw and submit by April 15!) and then rally your friends and family to vote for your idea online every day from May 2-16. You can find all the details at

If you’re passionate about a new way to help kids, this is your shot. 


Win up to $50,000 for a project that helps kids

April 22nd, 2015 by

What's your innovative idea for helping kids learn and develop?


This is your opportunity to see your learning project grow, with the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan!

As moms, we’re passionate about ensuring our kids get everything they need to learn and grow. And we know many of you work tirelessly to advocate for the programs and resources needed by all of our kids.

That’s why we were so excited to learn about the 2015 Inspired Minds Learning Project Competition. Run by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan (CST), the project is giving away up to $250,000 for innovative ideas that change the way children learn, grow and develop. With 36 prizes in total including one $50,000 grand prize, there are more chances than ever to win support for that project or initiative you’ve been hoping to see come to fruition.

The goal of the Learning Project is to help fund inspiring community-based ideas that support the learning and development of children from infancy to 17 years. So whether your program will provide toddlers with an enriching early childhood experience or help keep at-risk teens in school in an innovate way, it could be eligible for a chance to win a meaningful kick-start from the folks at CST.

Send us your story

So if you’re a parent, teacher or not-for-profit organization that works with kids, go ahead and submit your idea by May 1, 2015, for a chance to win. The competition is open now. 

The judges - including special guest judge, soccer star Christine Sinclair - will be looking for engaging ideas that will have a clear impact on Canadian children. After finalists are chosen, the public will vote on their favourites, so be original and creative to grab their attention.

The submission process will require you to explain the idea (in up to 5,000 characters), upload photos, tell the not-for-profit organization you’re representing and provide a ball-park budget breakdown for how the funds would be spent if your idea wins.

Support & share your favourite ideas

Then it’s time to get the community out to vote for your idea by sharing the link to your idea. Supporters can vote every day of the competition in each of three ways—using the regular vote button on your page, the “vote by Facebook” button and the “vote by Twitter” button. Voting starts May 4, so get your idea in early and start spreading the word before the voting period begins!



Thrifty potluck recipe: Mediterranean orzo salad

August 18th, 2014 by ,    photos by

Orzo is hearty, healthy, quick-cooking, inexpensive and travels well - making it an excellent candidate for potlucks and picnics


Orzo is hearty, healthy, quick-cooking, inexpensive and travels well, making it an excellent candidate for potlucks and picnics.

Mediterranean orzo salad

Serves 4-6

You'll Need

  • ¾ lb. dried orzo
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

Prep and Cook

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to the package directions.
  2. While the pasta cooks, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, and mint. Set aside.
  3. Drain the orzo well and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the salad dressing over top and toss to combine. Leave the orzo at room temperature and allow it to cool completely.
  4. Add the onion, spinach, sundried tomatoes, and half the crumbled feta to the bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  5. Transfer to a clean serving bowl and top with remaining feta.

Good to Know

Feel free to play around with the flavours by adding chickpeas, pinenuts, artichoke hearts and/or olives to the salad.

Orzo can be found in the pasta aisle of most major supermarkets.


Thrifty entertaining: Salad niçoise

August 11th, 2014 by ,    photos by

This guest-worthy salad platter is a cinch to put together, is fresh, healthy, and (best of all) stunning when plated on a pretty platter


Entertaining doesn't have to be expensive, and inexpensive entertaining doesn't have to look - or taste - cheap. This guest-worthy salad platter is a cinch to put together, is fresh, healthy, and (best of all) stunning when plated on a pretty platter.

Salad Niçoise

Serves 4

You'll Need

For the vinaigrette:

  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp regular or grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped basil
  • ½ cup olive oil

For the marinated beans:

  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 – 540 ml can white or navy beans

For the salad:

  • 10 small new potatoes, quartered
  • 8 oz. green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 head Boston lettuce
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup nicoise olives
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 1 cup marinated beans (recipe below)
  • 2 Tbsp capers

Prep and Cook

  1. In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a second bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinated beans and set aside.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover (by at least 1”) with cold water. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 5-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a bowl and toss with two tablespoons of the vinaigrette. 
  4. Bring the potato-cooking water back to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 3 minutes, or until bright green, crisp, and tender. Drain well and immediately transfer beans to an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
  5. To assemble the salad, have all of the ingredients at the ready, along with the vinaigrette, a large mixing bowl, and platter.
  6. Place the lettuce leaves in the bowl and gently toss with 2-3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Arrange the leaves over the platter, and place the potatoes in a line down the centre of the plate.
  7. Add the drained green beans to the mixing bowl and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Arrange half of the green beans on either side of the platter.
  8. Repeat with the process with the tomatoes, onions, and olives, tossing each with one tablespoon of the vinaigrette before placing on the platter.
  9. Arrange the hard-boiled egg quarters in two rows, and the tuna in one. Drizzle any remaining dressing over top of both.
  10. Fill in the final row with the marinated beans, and garnish the entire platter with the capers.

Good to Know

The vinaigrette, beans, and hard-boiled eggs can all be prepared up to two days in advance.

You will have some beans leftover. Toss them with sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped basil, and bocconcini cheese for a quick side salad to serve with another dinner.

Looking for more great summery salads you can serve for supper? Try our Mediterranean Orzo Salad - perfect for potlucks - or our Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad - a take-out fake-out that's sure to satisfy.


Super supper salads: Asian chicken and cabbage salad

July 28th, 2014 by ,    photos by

This take-out fake-out full of fresh Asian flavours tastes like something you would find in a restaurant - but can be made at home in less than 30 minutes!


This take-out fake-out full of fresh Asian flavors tastes like something you would find in a restaurant, but can be made at home in less than 30 minutes - meaning it's cheaper and healthier. Win-win.

Asian chicken and cabbage salad

Serves 4

You'll Need

For the dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup canola or safflower oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the salad:

  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp chopped mint
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds

Prep and Cook

  1. In a bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a second bowl, add all of the salad ingredients and toss to combine. Drizzle the dressing over top and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately.


Craving more hearty and healthy dinner-worthy salads? Check out EatSavvy

These recipes were generously provided by