Monday, October 31, 2011

Refuge on Crescent Hill - BLOG TOUR

Refuge on Crescent Hill

A Novel

This homecoming wasn’t what she expected . . .
Jobless, homeless, and broke, Camden Bristow decides to
visit the grandmother she hasn’t seen in years. But when
Camden arrives in Etherton, Ohio, she discovers that her
grandmother has passed away, leaving her the 150-year-old
mansion on Crescent Hill. The site of her happiest summers
as a child, the run-down mansion is now her only refuge.
When Camden finds evidence that she may not be the
mansion’s only occupant, memories of Grandma Rosalie’s
bedtime stories about secret passageways and runaway slaves
fuel her imagination. What really happened at Crescent Hill?
Who can she turn to for answers in this town full of
strangers? And what motivates the handsome local Alex
Yates to offer his help? As she works to uncover the past and
present mysteries harbored in her home, Camden uncovers
deep family secrets within the mansion’s walls that could
change her life—and the entire town—forever.

About the Author:
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author

of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and
Together for Good. A former corporate publicity manager at Focus
on the Family, Melanie has worked in the fields of journalism and
publicity for more than eighteen years. She and her family live in

I can always tell within the first 2 chapters if I will like a book or not. If I cannot get into the book right away, then I tend to not finish reading it. That was not the case with Refuge on Crescent Hill - I was able to submerge myself immediately, and I quite enjoyed the story. I  did find it a little confusing at first (it tells the story of 2 women, and flips back and forth between them - I just wasn't sure how they connected originally). I love reading about the Underground Railroad - and while the book isn't about that, it does touch on it some.

Buy It:

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

This morning I will be taking K to our local mall to go trick or treating around the stores -a couple of my girlfriends are coming with their kiddo's as well! This will be Julien's first year not coming with me - he will be at school instead!

Tonight we will take K to a few of the neighbours, and then J and Julien will continue on with Grandpa and Grandma while K and I head back home to hand out candy.

What are your plans for Halloween? do you let your kids keep all their treats? or do you sneak some away when they are sleeping?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thursday blog hop - hosted by bassgiraffe's Thoughts!

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

head on over and join the thursday blog hop!

Rodelle Baking Challenge!

Rodelle BakingChallenge – Kicked off October 1 and runs until December 25, 2011.

I was given the wonderful opportunity to help promote the Rodelle Baking Challenge.  They were very kind and sent me a couple of their vanilla beans to work with, and then post about my experience, along with info on the challenge.

How the vanilla beans arrived!

Out of their container.    

What the seeds actually look like
I have never worked with vanilla beans before, so I was VERY excited for this opportunity.  Seeing as how I have never worked with them before, I did a long web search to find a recipe that looked good. I came upon THIS recipe @ The Busty Baker for vanilla bean cupcakes, and decided to pair it with a vanilla bean buttercream (just a basic recipe – I substituted v.b. seeds for the extract in the recipe).

I have taken pictures to document my experience, and I am thrilled!  The end result is fantastic. 

For those of you that have never used vanilla beans before – give it a try! You take a paring knife, split the bean down the centre and then scrape out the seeds (I used the end of a childs plastic feeding spoon, and this worked well.) I was quite surprised when I opened the bean, as I had no idea what to expect for the seeds.  At first, it didn’t even look like there was anything inside, but as I scraped I discovered that the seeds are all “stuck” together – it was kind of clumpy, and I thought I did it wrong. BUT – as I mixed it in the recipe, I noticed that they came apart and there were tiny black seeds.

As I mentioned, I am thrilled with the recipe I chose, and the flavour is quite tasty. 

all mixed up and ready to transfer

ready to bake

buttercream mixed up



and I had to add a shot of  my big helper!

Now – onto the baking challenge!

Bakers share their baking moment on the Rodelle Facebook page…the most creative posts with photos or videos are more likely to stand out. The winners are selected by the Rodelle team and with a variety of criteria. Everything from creativity to sentimentality is taken into consideration. Rodelle is sweetening the pot this year by adding a KitchenAid® Mixer to the three grand prizes, which include a yearlong supply of premium Rodelle baking essentials: vanilla beans, baking cocoa, pure vanilla extract, almond/lemon/anise extracts and vanilla sugar. Three runners up will win a yearlong supply of pure vanilla extract, vanilla beans, and rich dark baking cocoa. People are invited to upload entries from October 1 through December 25, 2011. Winners will be announced New Year’s Day, 2012.

“At Rodelle, we are all about the finest ingredients bringing holiday magic to baking,” says Joe Basta. “Our goal is to inspire families to take their baking to a new level– using Rodelle really does make a difference,” he adds.

About Rodelle:
Rodelle has created premier baking and cooking essentials since 1936. Originating from the south of France, the Rodelle family revolutionized the standard for gourmet flavors when they came to the states, bringing with them, their passion and expertise for the flavor industry. In 1984, Rodelle became part of Custom Blending Inc. where a relentless commitment to high quality continues. Today, Rodelle provides home bakers and culinary professionals alike with the finest ingredients on the market. From Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans to Dutch-processed baking cocoa and Herbs de Provence, quality comes first. The company is wind powered and has consistently given a portion of sales back to its growing regions.

** I was sent the product at no charge in exchange for this post; this has not influenced my oppinion in any way.**

Monday, October 17, 2011

Update on us!

It's been a while since I posted an update on my family!

Julien has really adjusted quite well to Kindergarten - which is awesome!  He has reverted back to some previous behaviours (aggressive, not listening) and I am hoping that we can get those nixed ASAP - but for the most part things are great.

He goes to daycare one day a week after school; he is home with me 2 afternoons; he goes to his grandma's 1 afternoon and he has skating lessons another afternoon - so he has quite the full week!

Kyle is a cheeky little monkey - oh boy, is he ever inependant.  He is curious, busy and doesn't stop. I thought Julien was a busy boy - I hadn't seen anything.  Julien was content to sit and watch a show for a few minutes or read a story - Kyle cannot possibly sit still long enough.  He has taken to banging his head on the floor when he doesn't get his way - he really hurt himself one day, so now it's funny to watch - he starts to throw his head down - then very slowly finishes just to barely touch the floor.

Hubby is busy with work, and I am busy with the boys.  Over the past few days I have had a few confirmations on review/giveaway products - so keep your eyes peeled in November for them!

iPhone app giveaways!

Night and Day studio's is offering a few more apps to my readers!  There will be 3 winners, and each will get to choose 1 of the apps!

Go away big green monster

Lucha Libre USA : Make your own masked warrior

Counting with the very hungry caterpillar!

To enter is very simple - use the rafflecopter form below: first, you must be a GFC follower of my blog; then head on over to twitter and follow @nightdaystudios, and tweet to tell them which app you would like to win! (there will be 3 winners, and each can choose which app they would like). All THREE steps must be completed to qualify.

DO NOT leave blog post comments - they will be deleted and your entry will not count. Use the rafflecopter form below This Giveaway has ended

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Used diaper sale

If your in the Ottawa area and in need of some new (used) cloth diapers, check out Chiquitababy in Kanata. They are having a used Cloth Diaper sale today!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Want to advertise?

I am now offering a few spots for advertising! If you would like to see your product/company advertised on Tales of Mommyhood, send me an email and we can discuss rates!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Start your christmas shopping early - with Regal!

Check out my Regal Web store for all your Christmas needs! Cards, bags, wrap, tags and gifts - you can do it all from the comfort of your home!

Your items will be shipped directly to you - so no need to hit the malls!

Boston Pizza raised over $423,000 for childrens' charities!

I just received this press release from Boston Pizza, in regards to their Kids Cards, and thought I would post it for you! Thank you to anyone that purchased 1 (or more) of the BP kids cards!


Mississauga, ON, October 12, 2011 – Boston Pizza is proud to announce that more than $423,000 has been raised for charity through the sale of BP Kids Cards during the month of September.

“Once again our guests have demonstrated their incredible generosity by purchasing a record number of BP Kids Cards,” says Steve Silverstone, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Boston Pizza International Inc. “This success of this year’s campaign is a testament to the longstanding commitment of our franchisees and their staff to give back in the communities where we live and operate restaurants.”

With more than 340 stores across the country, Canadians from coast-to-coast showed their support for the Boston Pizza Foundation by purchasing BP Kids Cards throughout the month of September for a minimum donation of $5.00.  In exchange for their donation, guests received a card with five free kids meals. 

Leading the fundraising efforts were Boston Pizza locations in Fort McMurray, AB, Saint-Bruno, QC and Winnipeg, MB.

“We are extremely proud and appreciative of the efforts made by our franchisees and restaurant staff to sell a record number of BP Kids Cards,” says Cheryl Treliving, Executive Director of the Boston Pizza Foundation.  “The Boston Pizza Foundation has a long-standing commitment to helping children and families in need and the money raised by our Kids Card program will go a long way towards helping us do even more work in this area.”

Since its inception, the Boston Pizza Foundation has raised more than $12.1 million for a number of worthwhile charitable organizations across Canada including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Kids Help Phone

About Boston Pizza
Boston Pizza International Inc. is Canada's No. 1 casual dining brand with more than 340 restaurants in Canada. Annually, Boston Pizza serves more than 40 million guests. The company has been recognized as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies and was named one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures by Waterstone Human Capital for 2007 and 2008. Boston Pizza International Inc. is located in Richmond, B.C. and has regional offices in Mississauga, Ontario and Laval, Quebec. For more information visit

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hevea - natural rubber baby products REVIEW

I was contacted by Hevea and asked to do a review of their products.  They are based in Denmark, and they make Natural Rubber baby products (teething toys, pacifiers and bath toys).

From Hevea:

All Hevea products and packaging are sustainably and responsibly produced, using recycled,
biodegradable materials and soy ink. Its products are designed in Denmark and produced in Malaysia. The name Hevea comes from the Latin meaning natural rubber.
 Orlando Bloom and his wife have chosen Hevea products for their son

A picture of the panda teether
 and the bath toys I was sent
Julien was thrilled when the package arrived! He always loves to see the products I receive, and is generally hopeful that there will be something for him!

I let him decide whether he wanted the large duck, or the 3 smaller toys (frog, duck and fish) - and he chose the large duck. He thought that since he was bigger than Kyle, he should get the biggest toy.  I love the fact that it is a natural product, there is no paint or anything on it.  They don't have a chemical smell to them either.

They are soft (which some bath toys aren't - so when Julien threw it at Kyle, I didn't need to worry about him getting hurt); I think my favorite thing about the Hevea bath toys though - they don't have a hole in them. So, you don't need to worry about mildew or grime inside your bath toy - since water cannot get in.

To learn more about Hevea and the products they carry, check out their website.

Even though it is a European company, they have many Canadian retailers - to find Hevea products near you, check here.

You can also connect with Hevea on Facebook

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!

It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada - and that brings food, family and fun!  I have a wonderful family to be thankful for, a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in our bellies.

One of the best things about THIS Thanksgiving? I was able to re-connect with an old friend!  A woman I have known pretty much all my life - we lived a few houses down from each other when we were younger, and her parents are my God-parents. Even though she lives in the US, we saw each other every summer when she came up to visit her dad;  some of my favorite childhood memories include her!

It has been 10 years since we saw each other, but it was a wonderful reunion this afternoon!

Tonight we are off to dinner with extended family!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Toopy and Binoo surprise today! PICS added

Surpruse - you get to see Toopy and Binoo

With his wand

Telling his friend Marcus!

The show about to startToopy and binoo marshmallow moon

Getting into it!
I recently won 4 tickets to Toopy and Binoo Live from A Motherhood Experience. The show is today, and I haven't told Julien that we are going.  A good friend of mine has a little one close in age, and we are meeting them there and going together!

I am so excited to see his reaction when he finds out.  It's been a while since he has watched T&B - but he used to LOVE them and watch it everyday!

I will try and get some pictures and post back with his reaction!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Story of Noah's Ark - Review

Kregel Publications gave me the opportunity to review this book.  The Story of Noah's Ark: Storybook and Wall Clings is written by Lori C Froeb and illustrated by Luana Rinaldo.

It is a childrens version of Noah's Ark, and it comes with wall clings that the kids can use to make scenes of the story on the wall.  I read it to my 4 yr old, and he seemed to enjoy it.  He really LOVED the fact that he could put the animals on the wall as I was reading the story to him. The book is filled with bright colours, and pictures of the animals; the author has used simple words that children can understand, and it is relatively short - which is great for a childs attention span!

To read more about the author you can click here

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

cherishing the time

For the past few nights, Kyle has been having a rough go.  He just isn't sleeping well, and wants mommy to snuggle with him.  For the first time in months, he as actually sat with me and let me rock him to sleep - as rough as it was in the middle of the night, it reminded me of when he was small.

I remember sitting in the chair with him and he was soooo tiny he took up hardly any space at all - and now he is overflowing the chair.

It makes me realize just how precious the time is when they are small - it really doesn't last for very long; amazing how quickly the time can go.