Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Egg Cake



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review - Parental Guidance

I had the chance to watch Parental Guidance tonight with hubby and Mr. J. We are both big fans of Billy Crystal, and I love Bette Midler.  I was excited to see them pair up for this family comedy.

Hubby and I are pretty liberal with what we let the kids watch; we fast forward or have them cover their eyes if there are scenes that are inappropriate for their ages.  It has actually become pretty difficult to find a GOOD family comedy that has suitable content for the kids (of all ages), while still keeping us adults entertained.

Parental Guidance definitely fits the family comedy perfectly.  It is rated G, no swearing, no nudity and not really any violence (there is a black eye involved, but the punch isn't shown on-screen)

After the movie ended, I asked Mr. J if he enjoyed it, and he said his favorite part was when "farty" gets his face covered in bingo dabbers, and that he really liked "Carl" the Kangaroo.

If you are looking for a movie to add to your family movie night list, this would be a great one.  Hubby and I laughed almost the entire way through the movie - and that doesn't seem to happen often anymore.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Parental Guidance - available on Blu-ray and DVD March 26th

Tuesday, March 26 marks the release of Parental Guidance on Blu-ray and DVD. I was sent a copy of the movie to review, however due to technical malfunction with my television, the review will have to come at a later date.



Synopsis:

Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei prove that laughter is relative in this hilarious comedy that’s fun for the whole family!

Old-school grandparents Artie (Crystal) and Diane (Midler) get more than they bargained for when they get stuck babysitting their type-A daughter’s (Tomei) overprotected kids. But things go from hectic to hysterical when Artie realizes the kids are running the house with their newfangled technology. By playing by his own rules, which include sugary snacks, old fashioned games and tough love, Artie manages to outsmart the kids and achieve the impossible- bring the family closer together!


Do you ever leave the kids with their grandparents? How does it go?

Easter - Mini Easter Egg Basket cupcakes

Mr. K started nursery school a few weeks ago, and for Easter I told the staff I would bring in some treats (something they have missed since Mr. J stopped attending late last spring!)  I decided to make mini easter baskets - using mini cupcakes!

just a few of the treats for the Nursery School

Monday Giveaway Linky

Link up any of your open giveaways - make sure to list who is eligible (country wise)!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter Bunny, Face Painting and an Easter Craft


One of the local malls put on an Easter Bunny set up this weekend.  You could have a visit with the bunny (free) a few pictures taken and put on a flash drive (cost) face painting (free) and a craft (free).

My mom and I decided to take the boys this morning.  I was afraid it would get busy, so we headed out for when the mall opened. We arrived a few minutes before The Easter Bunny showed up; here are a few pictures from our morning!



Kyle chose a Bunny (but wouldn't sit still)

Julien chose an Easter Egg

Friday, March 22, 2013

What are your holiday traditions?

The Easter Bunny left some treats for the boys - Easter 2012


Growing up, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy all made appearances at our home when appropriate.  It actually never even occurred to me (once I was old enough to be filled in) that some families did not have the same traditions as we did.

As I got older and learned more about different religions and cultures, I was aware that not all holidays are celebrated in the same way, or by everyone for that matter.

However, it wasn't until last year that I heard that some families (not for religious or cultural reasons) don't participate in Santa and the Easter Bunny.  I was rather shocked, when I found out.  Reasons varied greatly from it taking away from the religious aspect of the holidays, to not wanting to lie to their children.

Personally, I think that embracing Santa and the Easter Bunny is fun, and the kids love it. They believe in the magic and it really enhances the holidays for me.

What about you - will the Easter Bunny be paying a visit to your home next weekend? He will be visiting ours - although he has started to limit the amount of chocolate that he leaves.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

MailPix - Review

A full view of the book when it is open

A few weeks ago I had the chance to use the MailPix service.  We had lots of photo's from our 2011 Disney Vacation, but they had yet to be printed and put into an album.  I knew this was a great chance for me to create some great photo products (mugs, canvasses, calendars and more).   I took a look at the site and decided that I should go with the 8.5 x 11 photobooks.  It was just the right size for what I was thinking about.

Once I signed up on the site, I uploaded my photo's and set to work.  It was really simple to use, and I had no issues while creating. I loved that there were a number of different styles to choose from, and that I could add writing to the pages if I chose.  It took me less than 1 hour to upload and design my book and send it in to order.

Shipping was pretty quick, and I was very happy with the finished product when it arrived.  The photo's are clear and the words are easy to read.  The colours are sharp and I am very happy with how our family memories turned out.

If you are looking for digital photo printing check out MailPix!

**I was provided with the above product in exchange for a review; all opinions stated are honest and belong to Tales of Mommyhood - your opinion and experiences may vary**

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Supra Shoes - review


A few months ago, I was in contact with Supra Shoes and given the chance to review a pair of their Skytops.

The sizes offered were larger than what my boys were wearing, however the pair (a size 2) they sent for  Mr. J was just *slightly* too big.  I knew it wouldn't take long for him to grow into them.


 Mr. J loved the colours (black with red) and loved that the soles of the shoes were red (as you can see in the above picture). He was super excited, as this was his first pair of lace up shoes (we are still working on learning how to tie)

Given our winters, he has not had the chance to wear them outside yet, but he has been wearing them around the house and finds them very comfortable.

Head on over to the website and take a look at all the different colours they offer; they also have low tops and a slip on now as well.  Spend over $100 and receive free shipping!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Greek Salad

Chop up your veggies (cucumber, tomato, onion, feta cheese - black olives if you use them)

making a greek salad

Make your dressing (1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tsp oregano or basil)

Greek Salad dressing

Add dressing to salad, mix together and enjoy!

assembling greek salad
This is a great compliment to any meal, however in the summer, when it is too hot to cook really, I will add leftover grilled chicken and it can be a meal on it's own. Sometimes I also throw in couscous or quinoa, black beans and chick peas.



Monday Giveaway Linky

List your open giveaways - be sure to include what countries are eligible

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

With St. Patrick's Day coming up, I decided to make a little treat. Chocolate Mint Surprise Cupcakes!





Bake your favorite cupcake recipe (from scratch or a mix)

Once cupcakes are cooled, cut out a hole from the top (don't go all the way through, about half way down)

Whip up a batch of dream whip, add a few drops of green food colouring and 1/2 tsp mint extract (mint is strong, always start off with a little and slowly add if you want the flavour stronger)

Using a spoon or piping bag, fill the hole with the mint dream whip

Use a piping bag to decorate how you like, and finish off with a small scattering of green sprinkles!



Fort Fun

I had great plans this week, fun things to do with the kids. Unfortunately, tendinitis in my foot, and Mr. K being sick impeded our plans.

Mr. J and I managed to go to the movie theater on Wednesday afternoon, and I headed to Brinkeeto's with the boys on Thursday - followed by a trip to the DQ!

Mr. J was going to his grandparents for a sleepover Friday night, but I had the whole morning to spend with them.  I wanted to make it as fun as I could, and decided that we would build a fort.

Our first creation was in the kitchen.  I pushed the table up against the wall and lined the chairs up; grabbed a couple blankets and covered up and voila - makeshift fort!  The boys thought it was great (although a little small) and they enjoyed a freezie inside.


After the freezie, I decided that the fort needed to be a little bigger, so I could join them inside. This time, we moved into the dining room and used those chairs and tables.  We spent about an hour inside playing connect 4 and having fun together!

Do your children like to make forts?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fifth's Disease

2 years ago, we traveled to Disney World; just before we were leaving Mr. J ended up sick. Normally I wouldn't have worried, but since we were going to be travelling by airplane I decided to get him checked out.  On top of the beginnings of an ear infection, he also had fifth's disease (slap cheek).  I was assured that you are contagious BEFORE the rash comes out, and since he had the rash we had nothing to worry  about.

Fast forward 2 years and a bit, the boys were playing and I went to the kitchen to make something to eat.  I was gone for FOUR minutes, and when I returned - this is what I saw

fifths disease

His cheeks had been perfectly neutral before I headed downstairs; I was fairly certain that it was fifth's, but he had not had a fever recently so that made me doubt my diagnosis a little bit.  I knew the only way to tell for sure was to wait for the rash to appear.

Sure enough, Monday morning he started to get little hive like bumps on his body, within 15 minutes of finding the first one, the rash started to spread.  His rash was MUCH worse than Mr. J's was. Thankfully, there really isn't much to fifth's other than cold like symptoms and the rash.

child rash
this is just the start of the rash, it got MUCH worse


Have your kids ever had fifth's?


Loosening The Grip - A Big Step

Being the mom of boys, I knew the day would come that my kids would want to use the mens washroom while we were out.  Mr. J has asked for quite awhile (I think he started asking around the age of 4) but it was never a situation where I was comfortable, and he was more curious - never put up a fight about coming into the women's washroom with me.

Yesterday, my mom took my brother and I, and all the kids (including her, there were 9 of us) out for lunch. The restaurant wasn't very busy, and when my niece had to use the washroom, I said I would take her. Mr. J needed to go also, and so he tagged along. When we got there, the mens/womens were across a tiny hallway from each other.  I decided to take that BIG step, and let him go to the mens room. I stood in the women's washroom holding the door open so I would know if anyone went in.

It may seem odd to parents with children that are the same sex, it is not something that would come up. However, this was a big thing for me.  I have no intentions of letting him go alone when we are out all the time, but I will start to scope the surroundings and if it is appropriate, then he can.

What about you? How old was your child the first time they went alone to the washroom in a public place?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Chocolate Cheesecake Pie (No Bake)

I love chocolate, and I love Cheesecake. When I found out that Kraft has released a new product, Philadelphia Chocolate Cream Cheese - I knew I had to try it out.

I decided to make a no bake chocolate cheesecake!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cool Whip


Ingredients:

1 tub philly chocolate cream cheese
1/2 tub cool whip
1/2 package instant chocolate pudding
graham cracker pie crust (you could substitute a chocolate/oreo pie crust also)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, use electric mixer and whip together cool whip and cream cheese, add in pudding mix - combine well (mixture will be thick)

Spoon into pie crust, cover with plastic wrap (or flip the lid of the pie crust over) and chill for 2 hours.

Serve - garnish with cool whip, chocolate syrup or fresh berries as desired.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Giveaway Linky

List your open giveaways here - be sure to include what countries are eligible to enter

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March Break is here!

March Break has arrived, and while I am excited to spend time doing some fun activities with the boys, Mr. J is pretty sad. He doesn't like that he is off school for an entire week (now, if only that continues up until he graduates high school!). With the week off, we have activities planned EVERY DAY!

 Monday - I *plan* on baking with the boys in the morning, and then heading to brinkeetos in the afternoon. 

Tuesday - we have a play date with a neighbour and her 2 children (you would think living a few houses apart we would see each other often, but that's not the case. Her oldest is in morning JK and Mr. J is in afternoon SK so we have opposite schedules!)

Wednesday - afternoon Mr.K is going to his grandmas and I am taking Mr. J to a movie (I think Rise of the Guardians)

Thursday - a visit with Gramz, and probably a trip to the local sugar bush

Friday - Mr. J gets to spend the day with Grandma, and Mr. K and I will find something to do... What about you? How are you spending your March Break?

Caramel Cream Cheese Apple Dip



If you are looking to change up your normal dessert routine, give this a try. It is super simple to make, and absolutely delicious.

The first time I had it was last summer; I had taken the boys to a friend's house for supper.  After the kids had dinner, she brought this out for dessert. I ate so much of it that I couldn't bring myself to even think about dinner.

She served it a few times when I was over, and I finally asked her for the recipe.  I was supposed to be going to a get together today, and this was going to be my contribution. However, Mr. K had other plans and ended up sick, so we are at home.  I couldn't let it go to waste (I had already mixed the cream cheese and sugar last night) so this was my breakfast.

Ingredients
8 oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup caramel sundae topping
skor bits (to taste) or chopped up skor bar

1) using an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and sugar
2) spread onto a serving platter/plate and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour
3) top with the caramel sundae topping
4) sprinkle with skor bits (as many or as little as you like)*

*you could omit the skor bits, but it finishes off the look and tastes GREAT

Thursday, March 7, 2013

National Nutrition Month

March is here, and with that brings National Nutrition Month. Milk Unleashed has released a neat calendar that shows all the different vitamins and minerals that are found in milk.  Check it out and let me know if there were any you didn't know.

Were you aware that children ages 4-8 need 19 grams of protein a day, and 9-13 year olds need 34 grams? Most children don't get enough Vitamin D, potassium or protein.  All of these nutrients can be found in shelf safe milk.  Shelf stable milk can be stored at room temperature until opened! With convenient tetra packs, they are great to pack in your child's lunch. If it doesn't get opened? just put it back in the cupboard until next time. (once opened, it does need to be refrigerated)

For more about Milk Unleashed check out www.MilkUnleashed.ca, @milkunleashed and facebook.com/milkunleashed.


**Tales of Mommyhood was provided samples in exchange for this post - all opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your opinion/experience may vary**

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sylvania Portable DVD Player and prize pack ($140 value) GIVEAWAY

I am happy to be taking part in this great giveaway event - read on and enter for your chance to WIN!

Welcome to our Portable DVD Player, Copy Kids & Abby Apple Giveaway Event!

Sylvania 7-inch Portable DVD, portable dvd player

Sylvania 7-Inch Portable DVD Player with Car Bag/Kit, Swivel Screen, USB/SD Card Reader

The Sylvania 7-inch portable DVD player has a widescreen color TFT display swivels up to 180 degrees; plays these formats: DVD, DVD+/-RW, CD, CD-R/RW, MP3 music burned onto CD-R/RW, JPEG photos burned onto CD-R/RW;SD memory card slot for playing MP3 music or showing JPEG photos, or playing MPEG4 videos; USB port for playing music, photos, or videos from a flash drive. Includes; Car Straps, AC power adapter, vehicle power adapter, A/V cable, carrying bag, remote control, stereo earphones; Rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, built in stereo speakers.
Snapatoonies, Abby Apple and her Fruit Friends, portable dvd player event

Abby Apple and her Fruit Friends DVD

Snapatoonies is an award winning toddler DVD series. It is great fun for kids. It is highly interactive and will have your little ones thinking and shouting out answers as the characters ask lots of questions. In the Abby Apple and her fruit friends DVD, it introduces your child to apples, oranges, lemons, pears and plums, and how much fun they are to eat!
Copy-Kids, portable dvd player event

Copy Kids Eat Fruits and Vegetables DVD

Copy-Kids has an amazing video, which encourages positive habits in young children by encouraging them to copy other kids. Their debut release is a DVD entitled Copy-Kids Eat Fruits and Vegetables. In it you find children joyfully eating fruits and vegetables. Kids watching it want to join in. It’s that simple. And it’s effective.
One lucky reader will have a chance to win this amazing Prize Pack {$140 value} !
We would like to say a special thanks to Snapatoonies and Copy-Kids for sponsoring this amazing giveaway.
This giveaway will end Saturday 3/9 11:59 ET. Open to US and Canada residents.
Enter on the Rafflecopter form below.
Good Luck Everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Disney's "Super Buddies"



Disney’s Adorable Talking Puppies Team Up This Summer

In an All-New Action-Packed Super Hero Adventure!

‘SUPER BUDDIES’
Highly-Anticipated All-New ‘Disney BUDDIES’ Movie
Debuts On Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & DVD -- August 27, 2013


BURBANK, Calif., March 5, 2013 – Disney’s beloved and adorable ‘Buddies’ are back in a hilarious all-new movie for the whole family -- ‘SUPER BUDDIES’ debuts August 27, 2013, on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD. An action-packed canine adventure, ‘Super Buddies’ stars the world’s most adorable talking puppies - Rosebud, B-Dawg, Budderball, Buddha and Mudbud, as caped crusaders em’barking’ on their biggest adventure ever.

Debuting just in time to join 2013’s blockbuster super hero-filled summer, ‘SUPER BUDDIES’ joins the hugely popular #1 live-action, direct-to-video Disney Buddies movie franchise in North America as a 2-Disc Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) for the suggested retail price of $36.99 U.S. and a 1-Disc DVD (includes Digital Copy) for the suggested retail price of $29.99 U.S.

About the Movie
An ordinary day at Fernfield Farms turns extraordinary when Budderball, Mudbud, B-Dawg, Buddha and Rosebud discover mysterious rings that grant them each a unique super power. Before you can say, “Buddies, assemble,” the pups unleash their amazing abilities and race to the rescue when a shape-shifting bully from outer space threatens the planet. But can they succeed in kicking major tail without revealing their new secret identities?

A must-own movie event packed with laughter, action and incredible new characters, ‘SUPER BUDDIES’ proves when you use your wits and work together, you don't need super powers to be a super hero!

Purchasing a Used Vehicle

This post brought to you by Insurance Hunter. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hubby and I are big on using the internet for research; with our last vehicle purchase - he searched online for a few weeks until he saw something that fit with what we were looking for (including price).

Looking to buy a used car? Use common sense when shopping online.  Insurance Hunter, and online auto insurance comparison tool, has recently released an article about purchasing used vehicles and the role the internet can play.

A few of the key points from the article: never send money online; researching online is fine, but always BUY in person; have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic first and most of all, if something seems OFF to you, then walk away.  There are LOTS of cars out there, if you get a weird/bad vibe about the vehicle or the seller, then it's not the right one for you.

The first time I bought a car, I was 19. My mom and I were out and decided to browse at one of the local dealerships. I had wanted my own vehicle for a while, and I left having signed the papers on a 1996 Mercury Mystique. In retrospect, I should have waited. There was nothing wrong with the vehicle, and I had it for 4 years with nothing more than regular wear and tear (and 1 warranty issue) - however, for the intereste rate on my used vehicle at the time, I could have spent the same amount of  money on a brand new vehicle. I learnt not to make spur of the moment decisions for LARGE purchases after that.

What about you? What was your first vehicle purchase?

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Carre Jaune - review

A little while ago I was browsing through Everything Mom and Baby and came across the Carre Jaune line.  I was looking for a new bath product, and found the Apricot Bath Powder. I wanted something that I could use either for myself, or for the boys.


After ordering, I was given the chance to review the Carre Jaune Apricot Cream and Natural Foam Wash. There were a few reasons I decided to give the Carre Jaune line a try - first, it is made in Canada, and I love to support the Canadian economy. Next, the Carre Jaune line is free from  Phtalates, Parabens, BPA, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, EDTA and Synthetic or Chemical Ingredients.  Since I try and stick to natural products for our skincare - this was great for me.

Carre Jaune was developed in Canada by a mom of 2.  When her daughter was born, she was looking for natural, eco-friendly children's products, but was unable to find any she was comfortable using - so she decided to make her own.

When the products arrived, I set them to the test.  The first thing I did was the smell test - if the scent is too strong, it turns me off immediately.  I was pleasantly surprised when I opened them that there was just a subtle scent to them.

Next, I had a bath. I added just a little bit of the powder to the water in the tub, and settled in to read my book.  I really enjoyed the fragrance of the powder, and when I emerged from the tub my skin was silky.  I dried off and followed up with the Apricot Cream which helped to lock in the moisture, and my skin remained soft and smooth the following day as well.  I really like that the cream doesn't leave you feeling greasy - my skin absorbed it almost immediately.

For the Natural Foam Wash, I used it on the boys the next day in the tub.  You can use it for washing hair or body, so I did both.  Just a small amount was needed, and the pump it comes in really adds foam (something I wondered about with no SLS in it). It was easy to wash out of their hair, and left it smelling clean and fresh.

I then went to work on washing their bodies and again, it left them smelling clean and fresh, and followed up by the Apricot Cream - their skin was soft and smooth.

I always worry slightly when trying new products as the 3 of us have eczema. Mr. K's is the most severe, and I am happy to report that none of us had a reaction. I actually noticed a patch on Mr. K's hip that seemed to go down, almost disappearing after a few days of the cream.

If you are in the market for new skincare products, or are just making the switch to a more natural product, then I would definitely recommend you try out the Carre Jaune line!

Monday Giveaway Linky

Link up any of your open giveaways here! Please list Countries eligible to enter

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Doc McStuffins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on DVD

Are your children fans of Doc McStuffins or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? My boys are and we just found out that both will be released on DVD this May!


 “DOC MCSTUFFINS: TIME FOR YOUR CHECK UP”
Arrives on DVD – May 7, 2013
Synopsis: “Doc McStuffins: Time for Your Check Up!,” the second DVD compilation for Disney Junior’s hit animated TV series “Doc McStuffins,” will debut May 7, 2013. A must-add to the family viewing collection, the DVD comes packaged with 5 fun-filled episodes and a FREE growth chart.





The Newest "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" Adventure Arrives Just In Time For Summer Break!
“MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: THE QUEST FOR CRYSTAL MICKEY”Arrives on DVD – May 21, 2013
Synopsis:

Join Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and all their pals in the newest Clubhouse crusade. When the legendary Crystal Mickey goes missing, Mickey and friends go on an adventure to save the Clubhouse from losing its magic. Grab your hat, buckle your seatbelt, and get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure in “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: The Quest for the Crystal Mickey!”

There’s no time to lose after greedy Plunderin’ Pete snatches the legendary Crystal Mickey statue from the Clubhouse. Without this sparkly statue’s magic, the Clubhouse will disappear forever!

Can the world’s most extraordinary hero "Kansas City Mickey," get the magical statue back in time? Only with help from young viewers at home…and the right Mouseketools can Mickey journey across the Sandy Desert, brave the Rushing River and make his way through the Hidden Jungle. But watch out for Pete’s trickiest traps! Full of magic and mystery, the DVD includes four extra episodes of Disney Junior's Emmy®-nominated series "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" (over 2 hours of content!) and a FREE
Adventure Activity Map plus Stickers. Don’t miss this latest Clubhouse adventure as it arrives for the first time on Disney DVD on May 21, 2013.