Infant Action Cognition Lab at StFX

Infant action cognition lab IACL stfx

Have you heard of the Infant Action Cognition Lab (IACL)? Infants 4-months and older, and their parent/guardian residing in Antigonish and surrounding areas, can volunteer in a fun research study at our child-friendly lab at the St. Francis Xavier University!

Our studies involve exploring toy objects and watching others explore objects on our eye tracker, to help us learn about how infants learn! We investigate how babies learn to understand and perform actions as well as how babies understand the actions of others around them. This information can be useful in helping us understand what babies know about things like an object’s weight, or motion such as walking. It can also help to inform interventions in the future to facilitate learning.

You can set up an appointment for anytime that works for you and your baby (usually 9:00-4:00pm Monday to Friday, but we are flexible).

The studies take place in J. Bruce Brown (Biology building) and we have free designated parking available.

Heres’ what to expect:

As you pull into the parking lot off Notre Dame Avenue, you will be greeted by a lab member who will provide a parking pass and direct you to the nearest parking space. The lab member may be one of our friendly senior researchers or undergraduate research assistants, and if you want, will help you carry things while accompanying you to our research lab (room 334B).

Once you and your baby are ready, we will review the study with you and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. You will also be told that your participation is strictly confidential, and that you are welcome to withdraw from the study at any point if you wish. After you’ve signed a study consent form, we will have you fill out a brief demographics form asking some very general information (e.g., age of siblings). Then we will begin the study! Most studies are 20-30 minutes but could range up to 60 minutes.

IACL Eyetracker
IACL Eyetracker

Throughout the study, we can take breaks as you or your baby may need. Diaper changes and feeding are welcome at any time. We have a diaper changing station and are a breastfeeding friendly environment. We can also accommodate for other children (e.g., older siblings) that have accompanied you to the appointment.

Most studies involve sitting with your baby on your lap as they explore an object or having your baby watch a short video clip (45-90 seconds) while we track their eye movements. For some studies, we apply reflective markers over areas of your baby’s arms or legs so that we can measure how they are moving. For example, we do a study about stepping experience where we would have you support your baby’s weight over a baby treadmill while they take steps with reflective markers on their legs so we can learn about their movement patterns. All of our studies are intended to be a positive and playful experience for babies!

This information can be useful to help facilitate learning during caregiver-infant interactions and help design interventions for infants at-risk for developmental delays.

IACL stfx 3
IACL stfx 4

At the end of the appointment, you will be offered a certificate with your baby’s picture on it as a keepsake.

The overall theme of work in the lab is to investigate how babies learn to understand and perform actions (e.g., with toys, or walking), as well as understand the actions of others around them.

The two competing ideas that we evaluate with our studies are: Do babies only understand other peoples’ actions after they have learned to do the actions themselves (i.e., “that person is like me”)? Or, do babies need to first understand other peoples’ actions before they can learn to carry out the action themselves (i.e., “I’m like you”).

Interested in volunteering? Contact us at (902) 867-5411 to up an appointment.

Megan MacGillivray PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Infant Action and Cognition Lab |  ANChoR Lab
StFX University | Department of Psychology 
Phone 902-867-5411

IACL stfx 5

Antigonish Farmers’ Market Online Shopping

Antigonish farmers market AFM online shopping country parent 3

by Stephanie Cooper

AFM Online is the Antigonish Farmers’ Market weekly online ordering service.  The goal of this new local initiative is to support the growth of farmers and artisans by connecting them to customers seeking locally produced products.  The convenient and simple shopping experience makes it possible for producers to meet the growing demand for local, sustainable food and products in Antigonish County and surrounding areas.

The AFM Online Market believes that when life gets a little busy, customers should still have the convenience of shopping fresh and local.  The weekly online ordering system is open from 7:00pm Wednesday night to 7:00pm Monday night.  Simply select your products and pick-up your order the following Wednesday between 4:00pm and 7:00pm at the Antigonish Farmers’ Market.  It’s quick, convenient, and simple.

Did you know?

– All orders are custom, not mystery boxes. You get exactly what you ordered.

– The website has a “Meet Your Producer” page so that customers can get to know their producers better.

– AFM online is a perfect option for busy families, students, visitors and anyone who might not been keen on market crowds.

– We are currently gearing up for a Thanksgiving Giveaway! So check out the AFM online website:, follow us on Instagram @afmonline and on Facebook: Antigonish Farmers’ Market Association.

Sign up with AFM online to support local farmers and artisans and Localize It!

Rediscovering Acadian Cuisine at Chez DesLauriers

chez deslauriers feature


Chez DesLauriers restaurant opens its doors every summer to serve authentic Acadian lunches.


The charming tearoom, originally a heritage home built in the 1800s, is located near Pomquet beach at the top of a hill overlooking St. George’s Bay.


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The establishment is run by the Pomquet development society volunteers who gather every Friday to prepare traditional Acadian meals.

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Mary Ann, Jean and Joan preparing fish cakes


The menu features various Acadian favorite dishes including fish cakes, pâté and fricot, to name a few. And most of the meals are gluten-free!

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Melt-in-your-mouth traditional Acadian fish cakes


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Chicken, turkey and pork pâté (meat pie) with cranberry sauce


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Fricôt, an Acadian staple, is chicken stew with potatoes and dumplings


seafood chowder country parent chez deslauriers

Delicious seafood chowder


Every meal includes coffee or tea and a dessert too!

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Ginger cake with lemon sauce


chez deslauriers country parent strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake made with fresh local strawberries


caramel pudding chez deslauriers country parent

Caramel pudding topped with fresh whipped cream


Chez DesLauriers also hosts lobster roll dinners in the Fall.

Click here for the complete menu. If you’re pressed for time, you can always purchase your meal on site and take it to go, within minutes.

However, I highly recommend sticking around and experiencing more than just the food, as there are other fun things to do:


♦ Discover the hiking trails

There are many beautiful coastal and inland hiking trails to enjoy – the views are breathtaking!


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♦ Visit the Interpretive Centre

The local Interpretive Center offers captivating cultural and historical pieces.

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A hand-held turnip seeder


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♦ Check out le petit marché

The petit marché, small market, has merchandise and souvenirs for purchase.

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♦ Home-made treats

Before heading out, buy a few home-made baked goods from Mrs. Patsy Doiron of Nanny’s Country Cooking

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So be sure to drop in Chez DesLauriers this summer!

This is the perfect place to be on a hot sunny day. Delectable food, relaxing atmosphere and wonderful hosts.

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Have You Tried Fiddleheads?

fiddlehead recipes feature

I’ll be honest, I had never heard of fiddleheads until I moved to Nova Scotia. I would see them every spring in the produce aisle of the grocery store, but just kept on walking by and hadn’t purchased them, until now. I finally decided to try them and see what this seasonal delicacy is all about.

Quick Overview

Fiddleheads are edible ferns. They are immature fern fronds harvested in spring, during the early stage of their development when they are tightly coiled and resemble a fiddle’s scroll (the upper end of the instrument), hence the name fiddlehead.


Fiddlehead season is extremely short, usually April and May.wild fiddleheads

fiddlehead coiled

It only takes a few days before the fronds start to unravel and the plant develops into a mature fern.

fiddlehead unravelling

There are many varieties of ferns, but the ones harvested on the East coast are the ostrich ferns, which fan out to resemble ostrich feathers once fully grown.

mature fern

Nutritional Value

Fiddleheads offer a lot of nutritional value.

They are rich in

  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • omega-6 fatty acids
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • potassium
  • iron
  • fibre

fiddlehead clean

Safety Precautions

Not all wild ferns are edible. Some types are toxic. Although ostrich ferns can easily be spotted in woodlands, unless you can identify them with absolute certainty, best not to harvest them yourself.

Even edible fiddleheads can cause food poisoning when eaten raw or undercooked.

Always cut browned ends, remove the husk, rinse thoroughly and then boil or steam the fiddleheads for at least 10 minutes before using them in recipes!

Even if you plan on sautéing them, cooking them, frying them, incorporating them in a soup recipe, adding them in a salad or in a smoothieALWAYS boil or steam them first! And NEVER eat them raw!

fiddlehead prep

Fiddleheads can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

You can also freeze them and enjoy them year-round. Simply boil or steam first, then blanch, dry and place in freezer bags.

Some grocery stores carry them in the frozen section too.

frozen fiddleheads

Easy Recipes

1. Fiddlehead Salad

Fiddleheads have a unique taste. In order to enjoy their full flavour try eating them as a salad. Delicious!

  • Rinse a handful of fiddleheads thoroughly
  • Boil or steam for 10 minutes
  • Drain
  • Blanch for 2 minutes
  • Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Add 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Season with salt & pepper

Fiddlehead salad

2. Fiddlehead Omelette

You can really get creative when it comes to cooking with fiddleheads. For example, you can incorporate them in your breakfast.

  • Rinse a handful of fiddleheads thoroughly
  • Boil or steam for 10 minutes
  • Drain
  • Blanch for 2 minutes
  • Sauté fiddleheads in 1 tbsp butter, for 1 minute
  • Add 4 whisked eggs over top
  • Cook until ready
  • Top with bacon bits and cheese
  • Season with salt & pepper

fiddlehead omelette omelette bite

3. Fried Fiddleheads With Sweet Hummus Sauce

For picky eaters… this recipe is sure to please.

  • Rinse a handful of fiddleheads thoroughly
  • Boil or steam for 10 minutes
  • Drain
  • Blanch for 2 minutes
  • Beat 1 egg
  • Dip the fiddleheads in egg one by one
  • Coat them with breadcrumbs
  • Fry fiddleheads for 2 minutes in hot oil
  • Place on paper towel to remove excess oil
  • Serve with sweet hummus sauce

Sweet hummus sauce

  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Mix hummus and honey together until smooth

fried fiddleheadsfried fiddleheads with sauce

If you haven’t tasted fiddleheads yet, then I hope these recipes will encourage you to try them out!

Happy cooking 😀

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A Glimpse of the World Oceans Day Event 2019

World Oceans Day Antigonish 2019

This year will mark our 6th annual World Oceans Day event! The StFX Biology dept. will be hosting the event in the J. Bruce Brown building on Saturday, June 8, from 11:00am-1:00pm.

Here’s a quick glimpse of the upcoming event:

Many critters! A variety of live local and tropical sea urchins, sea stars, crabs, sea cucumbers, sea anemones, blue lobster, and much more.

feather duster
horseshoe crab
blue lobster

A seaweed station, showcasing a variety of local seaweed species and seaweed-based products used daily.

A station showcasing local sustainable alternatives to plastic items.

A fossil station with DIY trilobites and ammonites prints to take home.

Make-your-own nautical knots station led by Jeremie and Tim Bellemore from the St-Andrews 4-H Great Outdoors group.

A craft station, face painting station and henna tattoos station.

And something special for Aquaman fans! 😉

Aquaman trident king Atlan

Returning guests will include:

♦  StFX Aquatic Resources Dept.  

♦  StFX Human Nutrition Dept.

♦  Bird Studies Canada

♦  Department of Fisheries and Oceans

♦  Nova Scotia Salmon Association

♦  Eastern Region Solid Waste Management

Click HERE to view last year’s displays.

We look forward to see you all on June 8!

Reg. 🙂


Creamy Rice Pudding

rice pudding


Having warm rice pudding on a cool almost-spring day is very comforting. With Easter in mind, a few tiny chocolate egg decorations can turn this old classic into a delightful festive treat.





♦ 1 cup rice

♦ 2 cups water

♦ 2 cups milk

♦ 1/3 cup sugar

♦ 1 tsp vanilla

♦ Small chocolate eggs


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Combine rice and water in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat until rice is cooked.

Add milk, sugar and vanilla.

Simmer on low heat until the mixture thickens and looks creamy, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Serve warm or let cool and top with tiny chocolate Easter eggs.




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Creamy Rice Pudding pin

Antigonish Winter Activities & March Break Activities 2019

Antigonish winter activities and march break camps 2019 a

Looking ahead to March break and other fun winter activities, here’s a compiled list of what’s happening in the Antigonish area so far.

Andrews Hockey March break camp. If your kids are into hockey check out this program. This is considered a growth camp focusing on forward specific, defense specific, skating, puck skills and scoring skills for children born 2006-2011.
And they also offer a Goaltending March break camp where each goalie receives exclusive goalie ice time! For more information click here.

X-Chem Outreach has partnered with WISE Atlantic (Women in Science & Engineering) to host a Girls Science Retreat for girls in Grades 7-10. The girls will explore hands-on STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), as well as sessions with local female role models working or studying in STEM fields (ex: paramedic, chemical engineer, math professor, plus more). How cool is that!
The cost of the retreat is only $10 and includes pizza for lunch.  For more information and to register click here.

X-chem wise science retreat

Also by X-Chem, check out the Saturday STEM workshops on March 9th from 10am-12pm.  There will be a STEM activities workshop for Ages 5-8, as well as a Codemakers workshop for Ages 9-13 with our friends from the Department of Math and Computer Science.  See the attached flyer and visit to register online.

The Arts House full-day camps feature Dr. Seuss’ crafts, up-cycling projects, sticker making, sock monkeys & monsters, and much more. For more information and to register click here.

March break camps Antigonish 2019

Other fun activities offered this winter…

Paint Maud Lewis’ house! Children can decorate a cardboard version of Maud’s house at the Antigonish & County Library. For more information click here.

march break activities 2019 antigonish 1

Kids can join the Minecraft Club, also offered at the Antigonish & County Library. For more information click here.

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Try ice fishing on Gillis Lake! Enjoy the Antigonish Free Family Fishing Derby 2019 scheduled for February 16.

family fishing derby 2019 Antigonish Gillis lake

Attend the Keppoch Winter Fun Day 2019 scheduled for Sunday March 3, 10:00am-4:00pm. This year’s theme is ‘Winter Wonderland’.

keppoch fun day 2019 winter playground antigonish

Enjoy free swims and free skating on the weekends:

free swim skate 2019 antigonish

And free gym play time on Sundays:

free open gym 2019 antiognish

Take advantage of the Town and County’s equipment loan program to stay active:

equipment loan antigonish 2019

Looking for more local activities?

Check out the local Winter programs HERE, Year-round programs HERE and other fun activities HERE.

And there’s still time to enter the 3rd Annual Snowman Contest. Click HERE for details.

snowman contest 2019 country parent Antigonish

Most recent add-ins:

For more details, see the ‘Activity Details’ pages at the end of this post.

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2019

Valentine’s Day is only just a couple weeks away! Are you looking to buy something special for your loved ones?

Here are some local gift ideas to get you started:

These pretty earrings are known as Ulus and are made by Shelley MacDonald, a silversmith that just so happened to grow up right here in Antigonish County! These beauties have also been worn by Kate Middleton. How cool is that?! So lovely. Starting at $68
The Posh Peppermint Home & Gifts · 200 Main St. Antigonish NS · 902.863.HOME
These HARLOW ROLL ON + RELAX oil blends smell so good! DREAMING contains French Lavender, Sweet Orange and Bergamot which is so nice and relaxing at bedtime or anytime! SOOTHING contains Peppermint, Spearmint and Eucalyptus and smells so fresh and energizing! $26
The Posh Peppermint Home & Gifts · 200 Main St. Antigonish NS · 902.863.HOME
Flower arrangements are always a thoughtful gift for any loved one.
From a simple bouquet of roses to mixed floral arrangement Elm Gardens offers a great selection to choose from.
Elm Gardens · 25A East Main St. Antigonish NS · 902.863.3492
Why not get your special someone a Thirty-One Gifts gift certificate?
Contact Andrea Smith, Independant Consultant at Thirty-One Gifts (902)371-1282
Or choose from a variety of fun totes and organizational storage solutions. Starting at $12
Browse and shop Andreas website here or Join her Facebook group at Bags to Bling & Everything In Between.
These lovely scented heart shaped soap made with pink grapefruit essential oil. They smell delicious and the colours are gorgeous!
Swinkels Bee Products · · 902.863.5791
For the outdoors man and outdoors woman in your life, a Leaves & Limbs gift card is always a great idea! Available in any denomination.
Leaves & Limbs Sports · 4167 Highway 104, South River, Antigonish, NS · 902.735.3800

How about Valentine’s Day themed gift ideas for your pets and pet owners? Take a look at these Proud to be a Rescue Parent mugs for dog lovers and this adorable wide dog collar with hearts. Heart shaped small animal treats , ‘I love ponies’ socks, pink cat teaser toys and Darford heart shaped dog treats. $4.99-$26.99
One Stop Pet Shop · 3063 Post Road Antigonish NS · 902.863.1215
FAST 2019 Antigonish Theatre
Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre is back this year with the theme “Dream Big”! A Main Stage pass is a great gift for the theatre lover. Starting as low as $80 (plus HST), this is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
Available at the Bauer Theatre during regular business hours. Call (902) 867-3954 or email to place your order.
Nova Scotia Summerfest Antigonish 2019
For the music lovers in your life, take advantage of the Early Bird Weekend Passes for the Nova Scotia Summer Fest 2019 taking place in Antigonish this summer! Enjoy performances by Alan Doyle, Anna Ludlow, Cassie and Maggie, and Christine Campbell, Classified and many more. $70
Tickets can be purchased on the NS Summer Fest website.


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3rd Annual Snowman Contest 2019

snowman contest 2019 country parent

Are you ready snowman builders? The 3rd annual Snowman Contest has begun!
This year’s theme: Spring

Send in your snowman picture to enter the contest for a chance to win great prizes and have your snowman featured on the Snowman Wall of Fame 2019.
Participating snowmen will not be judged, as all snowmen are awesome in their own unique way! Instead, we will draw the names of 3 lucky winners.

To Enter the Draw:

1. BUILD a snowman between January 7 and March 31, 2019. Make sure to use the theme SPRING to qualify for the draw.
The snowman can be traditional (made with real snow) or of any variety (drawing, cookies, craft). Anything goes! The snowman can be built by individuals or groups. Make it a collective effort! Include your family, business, organizations, club, school, youth group, non-profit or sports team.

2. SUBMIT your snowman photo* by email to by March 31, 2019 at 4:00 pm.  Email must include “Snowman Contest 2019′ in the subject line. You must also include your locationanda Spring-themed title for your snowman. You, your family, or friends can be in the picture too! NOTE: Photos might be featured in the Snowman Wall of Fame 2019. Participants names will be included in the photo descriptions unless requested otherwise.

3. LIKE & FOLLOW the Country Parent FACEBOOK PAGE !

And to increase your chances for winning…

Get up to 6 additional entries!

Here’s how:

1. Comment on this post, below.
2. Share this post (through Facebook and/or Tweet)
3. Follow @countryparent on INSTAGRAM
4. Follow @countryparent on TWITTER
5. Follow @countryparent on PINTEREST
6. Sign up with Country Parent for a weekly blog post – this also helps us contact you directly if you win, especially if you do not use social media

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This contest is open to Nova Scotia residents only and will take place March 31 at 5:00pm EST.

The lucky winners will be announced on the Country Parent Facebook page and contacted by email (with 24 hours to respond).

Draw Prizes Include:

♦ $25 gift card for Tim Horton’s

♦ $25 gift card for Cineplex

♦ $25 gift card for Dairy Queen

Good Luck!


The 3rd Annual Snowman Contest 2019 is supported by

*Disclaimer: By entering the contest, you hereby authorize and consent to the use of your photographs, in connection with this website and other websites, newspaper stories, social media, and other types of publicity through Country Parent and its affiliates.

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Children

holiday gift guide Antigonish 2018 children


Trying to keep it simple this Christmas when it comes to kids presents? Here are some neat local gift ideas to think about.

AND remember to enter the draw at the end of the post, for a chance to win vouchers for three 12″ pizzas generously donated by Pizza Delight Antigonish!




Lost Realms Games, Comics & Used Books • Fun classic comics and games for different ages, such as Scooby-Doo team up graphic novels, Junk Art block building game (Christmas sale price: $64.95), Tanks miniatures, Rhino Hero super battle 3D card stacking game. $14.95-$96.95




The Posh Peppermint Home & Gifts • Powerful Pillows send positive messages to kids at bedtime. These pillowcase painting kits by Nova Scotian company, Artburn Inc., make a special gift! An activity that leaves them with a pillowcase to treasure for years to come!




Haliburton PharmaChoice • The Grinch is back! The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous holiday spirit. Share the love of the season with a Grinch, Max or Cindy-Lou of your very own. $24.99




Antigonish Co-op Country Store • Various toy farm animals and Schleich Farm World toys such as a Western riding kit, a rodeo kit and a hay conveyor kit! $3.99-$35.99




Cameron’s Jewellery • Cute and cuddly plush stuffies any child would love. $15-$25




Leaves & Limbs Hunting & Fishing Outfitters • A wide selection of children’s clothing including insulated children’s camouflage style overalls, winter suits and Bogs. $45.99-$84




Antigonish Skatepark Association • Cool flat brim hats to support and promote the new local skate park. $25



Holiday Giveaway!

Enter the draw* for a chance to win vouchers for three 12″ pizzas generously donated by Pizza Delight Antigonish!

Simply COMMENT below on this post

And get up to an additional 3 entries to increase your chances of winning, by:

1. SHARING this post on Facebook

2. TAGGING a friend to Like the Country Parent Facebook page

3. SIGNING UP with Country Parent

And stay tuned for more Local Holiday Gift Guides & Giveaways!

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Thank you to all the Holiday Gift Guide supporters!


Town of Antigonish

Municipality Logo Antigonish County


Antigonish Chamber of commerceLogo

*Draw will take place on Saturday, Dec.15, 7:00pm EST.

Looking for more ideas, check out the previous gift guides:

Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Gifts For Him

Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Stocking Stuffers

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