Monday, May 4, 2015

Mom's Day Shopping 101: Here's what she wants...

Along with a lifetime of stress, worry, stretch-marks and that abdominal pooch that won't go away, becoming a Mom entitles you to everlasting appreciation by each and every one of your offspring, to be celebrated in uber-thoughtful ways on Mother's Day!  Or at least that's the fantastic ideal. 

In reality, most mothers of underage kids spend Mother's Day doing everything that they did the day before Mother's Day...but often in larger doses:  more cleaning because the whole fam-damily is coming over, more shopping because now we need to feed a crowd, more cleaning because there are more people we need to prove we aren't slobs to....ugh.  I'm not proclaiming to be a Mom's Day clairvoyant here, but even though there are millions of different Canadian Moms across this vast land, I can tell you with unfaltering, 100% certainty what NO MOM WANTS for Mother's Day:
  1. More cooking, cleaning and food shopping
  2. A package of frozen meat submarine sandwiches (don't's still too raw to discuss).
It's a short list.  So remember it!

On the other hand, I feel pretty confident telling you that I also know what ALL MOMS DO WANT:
  1. Thoughtful cards, notes or gifts (that clearly didn't involve a last minute trip to the pharmacy's gift card swivel display 20-minutes prior).
  2. Displays of appreciation (hugs, kisses, kind gestures and such, without having to beg for them).
  3. Gifts however big or small, hand-made or store-bought that clearly demonstrate that the giver has even the slightest clue as to who we are and what we love (ahem...frozen meat subs?  I don't even eat beef....).
  4. Anything pretty
For those of you that need specific direction on what and where to buy, I've compiled a list of just some of the great Mom-worthy gifts for the four main Mom archetypes: Adventure Mom, Book Club Mom, Party Mom and Nature Mom. 

To see the complete lineup and shopping specifics, tune in to CTV's Canada AM on Wednesday June 6th at 8:40am.  I've curated a ton of amazing gifts for your Mom, or for you to PVR and play back for your clueless kids.

Watch the segment - click here!

Adventure Mom: Loves anything wellness and fitness and most certainly, anything from  (think a Spring jacket from Canada Goose, Fitbit, stylish gym tote, hiking shoes from Salomon, etc...)
Just one of the many amazing duffel bags at Sporting Life

Book Club Mom: Loves relaxing in some super luxe, temperature regulating (no more night sweats) loungewear/jammies from Canadian company Lusomé (  Snuggled up in the comfiest chair in the house, she's sipping on David's Tea products (see their "Day At The Spa" collection of teas!), flipping through the latest top fiction from, and inhaling the scent of a bergamot candle that's flickering nearby...ahhhh...
Patented dryLon fabric technology -
Lusomé jammies are super soft!!

Party Mom: Loves all things fashion, fab and food.  Think great new stemwear on a gilded serving tray (HomeSense), a great new clutch from luxury label Mulberry, an everlasting floral arrangement that will never droop or die (HomeSense), a pretty floral silk scarf (Winners), Champagne...

Campden Clutch in Hibiscus from Mulberry

Nature Mom:  Loves anything that celebrates the glorious outdoors and gardening, growing and sowing! is a one-stop shopping destination for great outdoor furniture so Mom can kick up her heels in a wicker rocker while you water her new hanging baskets and top up those bird feeders next to the hammock!!

Regardless of what Mother's Day brings your way in 2015, the best gifts ever are most certainly the people in your lives that call you, "Mom".

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Used, new, who knew? Smart tips for saving $$$

Your neighbours are doing it.  Your friends are doing it.  Your spouse has probably done it, online, more than once, without you even knowing...  Canadians coast-to-coast are saving and earning big-time bucks via our thriving second-hand economy.  To celebrate 10-years in the business, Kijiji, an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of second-hand goods, recently put out some very impressive facts about what Canadian second-hand shopping practices look like. 

Check out these stats:
  • Every minute, Canadians spend approximately $57,000 on second-hand products.
  • The second-hand economy is worth $30 billion annually (15% of the value of new goods purchased).
  • 2 ads are placed on every second!
  • The average Canadian grants a second life to 76 products annually via buying, selling, trading or donating (the highest numbers being in the Prairies and Alberta - nice going, guys!!)
  • The average family of four saves $1150/year buying second-hand.
So what the heck is your excuse for not buying pre-loved merchandise? 

From sporting goods to clothing to electronics to cars (even homes!) to furniture and more, there are thousands upon thousands of great finds online.  But if you're a second-hand newbie like myself, it can be pretty confusing to know how to find great items, that are great quality at great prices. 

Let's break it down...

Sellers:  Spring is a great season to dip your toes into the world of second-hand money making. Trust me, that souvenir puck from an NHL game you attended in the 90's or that old set of golf clubs are just waiting to be transformed into dollar bills (or I guess loonies to be more accurate).   Open up that garage, clean out the house, rummage through the basement and surely, there is money waiting to be made.  Not sure whether an online site like Kijiji versus a garage sale is right for you?  Here's my suggestion: higher ticket items ($30 +) do best on sites like Kijiji.  Save the real bargains for a garage sale.  Professional garage-salers will come early, come hungry and with mostly small bills, so do not bother to put an antique hutch on the driveway and expect someone to offer you $500 for it.  If however, you've got some better quality, larger items that you feel could fetch some bigger bucks, then snap some well-lit pics, write a catchy description (be honest) and upload to an online site.  If you've indeed got a great in-demand item, within minutes, your inbox will begin to fill up faster than a hungry kid at a pizza party!!  If you've got any of the below items to sell, there are buyers aplenty waiting in the wings to buy!

Most Searched Items Online:
Leafs/Raptors Tickets (events)
Lululemon Clothing (apparel)
Lego (toys)
Nikon (small electronics)
Fridges (home)
TV (large electronics)
BMW (most searched item overall)

Here's how the second-hand economy can work for you, using my own example:

Two of my boys need bigger bikes this season.  Instead of handing down their too-small ones, I can re-sell them online, at a garage sale or through word-of-mouth.  I would expect $25/bike to be reasonable.  So that's $50 earned.  Next, I went online to Kijiji and found a seller offering two higher-quality youth mountain bikes for $100 (for both).  I know that I could likely offer him $75.  I went to research the bikes he was selling at a leading sporting goods retailer and they were listed for $299 each, brand new.  Schwinn bikes!!  Factor in the fact that if these bikes were abused like the ones my sons had, then I'll likely need $50 in tune-ups from the bike shop.  In the end, I could purchase new bikes for $600 (which is crazy given how fast my boys are growing), or I could get the 2 for $75, add in those tune-ups at $50 and pay $125.  Don't forget the $50 I hope to earn selling their old that pays for tune-ups!  So we're back at a net loss to me of $75 for two great bikes.  Sounds like a deal!!!

Just like sellers, Spring is the season to be out with the old and in with the (somewhat) new.  In fact, there really is no good reason to buy certain items brand new.  If the kids need bigger bikes, or the baby could use some bigger clothes, or you're looking for that perfect wrought-iron bench for the garden, your very first shopping destination should be the second-hand market.  Any item that is outgrown quickly can typically be found used/online for a fraction of the price of a brand new item, and in excellent condition too!  If you love home décor then second-hand furniture, rugs and draperies are just a click away.  Every time you see a contractor in someone's driveway, there's a better than good chance that the home-owner has decided that last year's wall-art just won't suit this year's paint colour - which means you could be paying 50-80% less than retail for high-quality items!!  I recently turned to social media to find out why people shop for pre-loved goods online versus at garage sales.  The consensus was that while garage sales are a fun way to pass a lazy Sunday morning, you can't shop with specifics in mind, or you might never find anything you like.  Think needle-in-haystack browsing.  Whereas online, you enter your criteria into a search field and boom - local results are just a few clicks and kilometers away.

Top 3 reason why people buy second-hand:
  1. Saving money
  2. Ecological benefits
  3. The thrill of finding a great deal
Best deals:  Let's face it, once out of the store or off the rack, there is a huge depreciation in value on certain items.  You can literally save 50% or more on nearly new items that have barely ever been worn or used.  The hottest deals can be found on...
  • Designer clothes (the boutique charges top dollar, but let the original buyer pay that premium!)
  • Jewellery (especially fine jewellery/gold)
  • Baby Clothes (most baby clothes are worn fewer than 8 times before outgrown)
  • Furniture (my sister-in-law haggled her way to a gorgeous teak dining table for $700, even though the seller was asking $2000!!)
  • Cars (once off the lot, even a car with 1000 km on it will have depreciated by 25%)
  • Sports equipment (a baseball bat is a baseball bat...but a used one is only $10!!)
  • Tools (a hammer is supposed to hit nails, why get a shiny new one?...likewise a used power tool can save you hundreds and still get the job done!)
  • Books & toys (then you can re-sell them when you're done with them!)
Now, not everything should be purchased second-hand no matter how great our desire to save money, help the environment or how big the thrill of the hunt.  Any item that's purpose it is to provide safety, or where safety can be compromised, should NEVER be purchased second-hand.  The same goes for anything hygiene related...that's just gross.  Would you want to sleep on a used mattress, covered in invisible dust-bites, dead-skin cells, save a few bucks?  Ewww...  If you have bought a used mattress before, do not ever invite me for a sleepover

Never buy: Cribs, car-seats, helmets, mattresses, bedding, bathing-suits or underwear (do I really need to list these?).

Ok, so who's ready to shop??  Now you're armed with some info to get the ball rolling on your second-hand buying and selling.  It's a fun, safe and easy way to earn extra money and give a new life to products that somebody wants! 

Would love to know what your greatest finds were.  Share them with me on Facebook (Kasie Savage) or Twitter (@KasieSavage) and tune into my segment on CTV's Canada AM, Friday, April 17 at 8:40am!
Click here to watch!

For more information on Canada's second-hand economy, visit:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

5 easy April 1st pranks even boring people will love!

I come from a very long line of pranksters, hams, wise-guys (and gals), jokers and all around good-time-Charlies.  No, none of us has ever made a buck off of it, but a far better payday is knowing that you got someone good - real good!!! 

Example: When I'd have a group of friends over as a teen, I'd pre-hatch a plan with my Mom whereby she'd storm into the room we were loitering in and just yell and scream and berate me whilst wielding a potato masher...ahhh...the look on their faces...priceless!  Although that brand of humour might be somewhat, unconventional, isn't laughter the absolute best?  A good laugh can break the tension, ease the pain, mend a wound, halt the tears, fill an awkward silence and just feels so darn-tootin' good.  In fact, my desire to laugh is so great that if I look back over my entire lifetime and add up the number of non-funny friends that I have, it equals zero

I  don't trust people without laugh-lines.  If you're over 30 and you don't have laugh lines, I'm asking for a Botox and Juvaderm receipt, or you're outta here.

In the absence of fun, I'm even willing to just make stuff up.  When my husband was still my boyfriend, he came to visit me in my 1-bedroom apartment where I happen to have had my dear, sweet (prankster) Grandma visiting from Montreal.  He had just flown in from who-knows-where, still drunk off of the sweet taste of victory at a high-profile curling bonspiel (and rum), when he happened to nod off in front of my dear, sweet Gram.  When he awoke, we had him 100% convinced that he spent the entire slumber expelling horridly foul gas....he was mortified...still is. (Shhhh...this joke is going on 15 years old and it's not over!)

If the idea of joking around appeals to you, or you haven't laughed in eons, or you've had fillers and people don't trust you to be fun/funny, then April 1st is a great time to test the comedic waters and bust a gut.  I scoured the Internet in search of some good clean prankster fun (no verbal abuse or potato mashers) and here are some easy-to-execute doozies:

1. Freaky toilet surprise
Find a scary face on the Internet and print full size.  Tape it to the underside of the toilet seat and shut the lid.  The next person to use the washroom might poop their pants...but it'll be worth it!


2. Don't cry over spilled milk
Get yourself some good quality white craft glue and generously poor it out onto some waxed paper in a spill pattern.  Let it dry (takes about 12 hours).  Gently scrape it off and place it onto the keyboard of the victim's computer (goes over best on a tightly wound type A personality).  Place next to an empty glass or mug and get the swear-jar at the ready!!

3. Stranger danger
Stuff some men's pants and socks with rolled up newspapers and finish with a pair of shoes.  Place the half-torso under a vehicle, or in the backseat of the victim's car, or behind a wall and get your video camera ready to capture their reaction!!  Oh snap!

4. There-she-blows
Visit your local Canadian Tire and shell out $27 on a blow-horn.  Duct tape the blow-horn to the underside of an office chair (the kind that adjusts up and down).  Secure it so that any amount of pressure from the seat will set it off (will require a bit of Macgyver-ing).  Your coworkers will not be buying you lunch that day...or maybe they will!  If you don't have coworkers (I feel your pain) do what I've been doing: hide behind a door in the dark and when someone walks passed you, let that son-of-a-gun rip! (away from ears!) 

5. Yummmm...mayo!
So easy and so gross.  Empty a jar of mayonnaise out and fill to the brim with vanilla yogurt.  Grab a spoon, shovel it in and tell everyone how you've just read about the incredible health benefits of eating a tub of mayo/ much protein, so many omega 3s from the eggs and oil....yummy!!  People will recoil in horror. 

So there are my top 5.  Click here to watch the segment on CTV's Canada AM!

Keep laughing!


Monday, March 9, 2015

Finding "Fun You": Take the test

In October, five friends and I packed our bags and jet off to sunny Palm Springs for a long-overdue girls' getaway.  I went in search of laughs, relaxation, shopping and adventure, but what I really discovered was far more thrilling and rare - it was Fun Kasie!! A lost relic of my past, Fun Kasie was benched years ago as Wife Kasie and Mom Kasie filled the top spots in my household roster.  Sitting idle for so long, Fun Kasie was all but forgotten until the right mix of girly stupidity, lack of responsibility, freedom to do what one pleases and a hint of vodka came into play.  The group of girls I was with had never met Fun Kasie before; having only had met them in the Wife Kasie era, they were instantly impressed and proudly renamed this vacation version of me, "VaKasie". 

VaKasie did all sorts of crazy stuff - went without makeup, let her hair air-dry, wore a bathing suit in public, laughed until she had to race to the washroom, used expletives liberally, was the TMI queen, went on a dune buggy adventure and even ate a McRib with extra jalapenos (Wife and Mom Kasie doesn't eat fast-food...let alone boneless pork patties smothered in a sweet sauce, nestled in a soft sesame-seed bun)!!!
VaKasie in all her glory

Here's what I know for sure - VaKasie was a blast.  I miss old me sometimes.  Life just takes hold and we tend to lose so much of our former free-wheeling selves.  We are suddenly soooo serious about everything.  In case this has happened to you, and you have yet to realise it, I've created a small but highly scientific test to assess your lame-a-bility factor. 

Lame-a-bility Quiz: Have you lost "Fun You"?  Please answer YES or No:

1. I have been married for more than five years
2. I have kid(s)
3. I have pet(s) and/or employment
4. I deliver a look-of-death, eye-roll, or desperate sigh when someone close to me flatulates
5. I haven't laughed until I've peed my pants in years (or ever!)
6. I often sit stone-faced during a classic comedy or simply declare, "this crap is not funny"
7. I have not been on a girls-only getaway in more than 2 years
8. I sometimes find myself listening to Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith songs on repeat
9. I wear full-coverage underwear with comfort and cotton in mind
10. When my kids yell, MOM!!!!" I reply with a long exasperated, devil-voiced, "WHHHAAAATTTT????"

If you answered "yes" to 2 or more of these, take a good, long look in the mirror because you are a totally boring lame-o.  The sooner you embark on fancy-free fun and frivolity the better for everyone - your husband, kids and boss with thank me!!

Now leave this blog, get on the web and book something fun and crazy.  Do it!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Why married people need Hallmark holidays...more than ever!

My husband Brad has always firmly maintained a strict "no Hallmark holidays" stance.  Especially when it comes to Valentine's Day.  When we were hot and heavy in the early days (literally hot and heavy - post-University chub and excessively sweaty - not pretty), he would declare proudly, "why does anyone need to remind me to love and treat you special on one day of the year when I love and treat you special everyday?" "Wow, what a hopeless romantic!", you're likely thinking.  Or, to play devil's advocate here,  "what a hopeless cheapskate trying to avoid buying a V-day gift for yours truly". Thought I'd offer both perspectives for you. 

Anyway, to get back on track, he did sort of have a point.  I say sort of, because when two people are in a fresh-out-of-the-oven romance, every day does feel extra sweet and special.  Flowers "just because they made me think of you", back rubs "just because you work soooo hard selling souvenirs at the CityTV store", hand-written notes of naughtiness "just because sexting technology didn't exist back then" get the point.  Fast forward 15 years and here we are - 3 kids, 2 cats, 5 fish, endless taxiing to activities, non-stop heads-spinning, exhausted and run-down, matching sweatshirts with Golden Labs on them (we don't even own a dog!)...this is what married/family life looks like with young kids. 

Now, more than ever we desperately NEED Hallmark holidays.  Come mid-January, that sea of pink heart-shaped cards and candy at the local pharmacy is like a five-alarm fire burning into my listless, weary mind screaming out a relationship S.O.S: "wake up you good for nothin' dead-beat wife - it's almost Valentine's Day and you need all of this pink and red stuff to prove your love!!!!" All of the ads in the newspaper and on TV feature freakishly toned and spray-tanned hunks, on bended-knee, slowly opening blue boxes filled with sparkle, to the delight of a pale waif in a ball-gown cupping her hands over her mouth with an expression of sheer joy, exhilaration and hunger...sadly reminding me that the only blue box I'll be seeing on Valentine's Day contains my discarded recyclables.  Hmph. 

On the hunt for great Valentine's Day ideas, in the hopes of turning my slump around, I found so many really cool, fun, funky and fabulous ideas that do not involve cinnamon hearts.  Soooo many ideas in fact, that I'm going to pass them along to case you're also in a V-Day rut.  You're welcome!!

Watch on February 11th on CTV's Canada AM as I present to you a curated display of fun and fabulous for all three types of love:

1. Innocent/family love
2. Passionate love
3. Married 10+ years/In-the-doghouse love

Stay tuned....

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Not your mother's "Mom Jeans": you know it's all about that bass...

I don't know what's worse, shopping for bathing suits, or shopping for jeans.  Both experiences are right up there with pap-smears and cleaning up vomit on my list of ugh-worthy activities.  Shopping for bathing suits and jeans both leave you frustrated and deflated, shimmying into too-tight or slithering into too-loose fabrics, discovering new areas of your body that have either drooped downwards or disappeared completely off the face of the earth (i.e. my waist and confidence). Ultimately, both have you fleeing the dressing room empty-handed and heading straight for the nearest fro-yo shop for a double-scoop of frozen therapy. 

Let's face it, after kids, our bodies just aren't the same as they were pre-kids.  As each of my three boys descended down the birth canal, other body parts followed suit: boobs, bum, waist...they all bought a one-way ticket south from Taut-ville to Mom-ville.  But just because your body is different, doesn't mean that you can't look great and feel great - especially in the ultimate uniform of Moms everywhere in North-America - jeans!!  You just need to know how to shop for your body and Houdini yourself.  It's about illusion my friends.  Jeans are now day-wear to evening-wear.  Dress them up, dress them down, take them anywhere - your wardrobe's best-friend can also be your foe if you don't own the right ones.

Let me show you what I mean.  The right pair of jeans, will bring out the best in you- elongate the limbs, lift the touche and cinch the waist - price does not matter, designer label does not matter.  It either works on you, or it doesn't.   The wrong pair of jeans will be bad, so bad... 

To prove my point, I recently grabbed 9 pairs of jeans in my size off the rack at a local shop that had an extensive denim collection, in prices varying from $40-$250.  Then I took to taking a ton of belfies (butt selfies).  As you will see, the exact same body can look REALLY different, depending on the style and wash, placement of pockets, seaming, etc...  Take note:
I arrived in these Lola Jeans (Cdn. brand $70):
these are the right fit for me: perfect pocket placement,
4-way stretch on legs, dark wash, mid-rise...

Wow- not good: my bum looks enormous because
the pockets are too long and large.  2-way stretch
so they pinch my upper legs and give the
dreaded stuffed-sausage effect - wash makes
rump and legs look larger.  Ugh.

Although very comfy, these tapered jeggings
feature ZERO flattering features: my arse looks
enormous (review pic 1 to compare) and
the acid-washing effect makes me look either
crazy, craving the 80's or both.  I purchased these
flat-out so as to take them out of circulation - then burnt them.

Here's a case of pockets that are wayyy tooo small, way too high
and wayyy tooo wide.  So it spreads my butt east and west
like my cheeks are on a scavenger hunt...
Even my Mom's Mom wouldn't wear these!
Plus the wash, is still too light so it adds pounds -
nobody wants to add pounds.

Issues can arise in the front too.  Here the
fabric bunches to create a vortex of
pleating - camel toe in the works - run,
very fast from jeans that do this....

By this point, I was really starting to think that I had
an unflattering rear-end...and maybe I do.  But
certainly, the jeans make all the difference.  These are
getting better but they flatten the rear - we want lift!! 
The right distressing and fade patterns create that illusion...
these do not, but the stitching on the pockets
does help define the cheeks...

Anyone craving I.H.O.P?  Enough said.

Aha! The darker wash slims, the pockets are
the right size, but the legs are bunching - not the
right stretch to them..and they are lower rise
which leads to....(below)

Muffin top.  If you've got a butt or hips or belly,
or all of the above, don't even look at a low-rise jean.
Mid-rise or higher rise will keep all that fleshy-fun contained
in the pants and slim the silhouette.

Perhaps the saddest bum ever...and note the
legs.  These jeans scream "I give up",  "I have zero sex appeal"
"I dine and work at the I.H.O.P"

Although light wash, these jeans are vastly better
than the others I tried on.  They lift and minimize the same bum
that looked so sad, droopy and hopeless up above.  Nice fit on
upper leg and cute flare at bottom for that Martini glass effect.

The jeans on the left were all wrong, whereas the ones
on the right worked.  Look at the pockets: the smaller, narrower
pockets on the first pair, enlarged my butt - notice how long the seam
on the derriere of the first pair is...that gave my cheeks ample room to
just hang-out and hang low...  The ones on the right hugged my bum and
visually lifted. 

Again, my Lola jeans.  Note that V-seam (kind of like Lululemons)
which cuts the length of the rear visually and the pockets help to
round the cheeks out - suddenly, my butt looks lifted, younger. 
The darker wash slims too.  These Mom jeans have....a 3" elastic waist!!
No buttons - pull-ons!!  Yep, these are my Mom jeans.

So, now that we've all spent way too much time analysing my arse, it's time for you to grab a three-way mirror and check out your assets.  The butt makes the jeans - there's no dispute.  Bottom-line (pun intended), there's no perfect pair for everyone, it takes some trial and error but here's what you can automatically gravitate towards next time you're shopping for Mom-worthy denim:

  • Mid to high rise for the cut
  • Bootleg or Slim fit
  • 4-way stretch (to avoid bunching or pinching in weird places)
  • Darker wash (slimming)
  • Perfectly placed pockets - more square shaped, angled out, not too small or high
  • Detailed stitching on pockets - adds interest, lifts and adds that little bubble-bum effect
  • Size down - if they feel just a bit tight in the store, they will be perfect once broken in.
Watch my Canada AM segment and find out which winners fit our Mom models...Don't blame your genes...blame your jeans!
Thanks to:
for outfitting us for this segment!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sick kids 101: How to spot a faker (and other nuggets of wisdom)

While we're on the topic of germs and illness (I'm still not fully over my cold...19 days later), I thought I'd tackle kiddie colds for a bit.

I've been asked to be part of an upcoming parenting panel for Canada AM exploring the dreaded "pukies". There's nothing more jarring to your mental routine that suddenly hearing, "Mom, I don't feel well".

I pride myself on a 0-1 absences per child per school-year record.  I have three boys - so the math is simple.  In general, my kids are healthy, but this stellar attendance record could only be achieved using my general rule of thumb:

"Unless you have a fever, or have fluids spewing from either end, you're going to school."
There is no grey area.  A common cold, or the sniffles do not lead to missed school. 

How to Spot a Faker:

This is easy using my fail-proof proprietary faker technique (PFT): if indeed a child is truly too sick to go to school, then they have to spend the day in their beds, resting and reading.  No devices, no TV.  Trust me, if a kid is REALLY under-the-weather, they want to spend the day in bed sleeping... A faker will usually get bored after about 20 minutes and beg you to go to school. No thermometer needed, only the Mom-ometer!  If they are well enough to traipse along merrily on errands with you, they're not sick!!!

How to make a sick kid feel better:

A truly sick kid will get well much faster with some deserved, over-the-top TLC.  Cuddles, back rubs, warm blankets fresh from the dryer, a popsicle or two and only speaking to them in a soft grandma-esque tone works wonders. Warning: depending on the kid, too much of this technique may lead to a "faker" which case you employ the above mentioned technique. 

Tips for dealing with puke:
If the illness is of the explosive projectile variety, that's where I usually bail and call in reinforcements (my husband).  Despite how vile, disgusting and gross it can be, there is a definite puke-plan readiness kit in place at our house. 

If it's vomit we're ready, if it's an earthquake or flash-flooding, we're screwed.  

As soon as someone skips a meal (that's clue 1) or mutters weakly, "my tummy hurts" (clue 2), we spring into action and do the following: get plastic mattress protector on bed (a smarter person would invest in 1 per kid's bed on a permanent basis), cover upper third of bed in towels, remove all duvets/quilts, wrap pillow in double layer of towels, find friendly looking receptacle (i.e. not an icky, smelly, dirt-stained garbage pail - that would make a healthy person sick to look at) and place on bedside table, walk child through the "run-to-the-toilet" technique as first course of action. 

When the upchucking occurs, it is imperative that you react overly calm and relaxed as you deal with it (like you're just tying a shoelace or playing biggie), otherwise the kid might panic and burst into a gagging, coughing, crying frenzy - thus leading to more vomiting.  Clean the mess quickly, have them brush their teeth, sip a tiny bit of water and go back to resting.  Repeat this process as often as necessary until puking ceases. 

Whatever you do, do not entertain the idea that all of those smelly, pungent vomit germs may have invaded their way into your fragile system - the thought alone could lead to phantom gagging in parents...which only doubles everyone's misery. 

Ferris Bueller would have never stayed home using my techniques

What's your technique??