Saturday, August 31, 2013

End of Summer Visit To ValleyView

Summer has come to an end, and we managed to cross 14 items off of our bucket list for this year.  To end the summer, we spent Friday morning at ValleyView Animal Farm (which was probably the TOP thing on the list for Mr. J this year, and I didn't think it would happen) and then went back to our friends place for lunch and a swim.


Today we will be heading up to my aunt and uncle's cottage for one last visit this year; there will be lots of family for a bbq and the kids are looking forward to playing on the beach.  

Here is the updated Summer Bucket List - we managed to cross off 14 out of 20 items on the list - not too bad!

  1. Go to Aunt Bev's Cottage
  2. Upper Canada Village
  3. Bike Rides
  4. Family Water Fight (we did this last week while hubby was on holidays)
  5. Go for ice cream
  6. Movie theater (we saw Monsters U. today!)
  7. Go to a splash pad
  8. Go to the park
  9. Work on learning to tie shoes
  10. Bake yummy treats
  11. Visit the fire station with my cousin (volunteer fire fighter)
  12. Visit to Funhaven
  13. Visit (or many) to Brinkeetos
  14. Have a sleepover (away from home and AT home)
  15. Have friends over for a game of tag  (not at home, but at the park)
  16. Visit the Childrens Museum
  17. Visit Valley View Little Animal Farm
  18. Visit the Central Experimental Farm
  19. Mini Putt
  20. Go Karts

Friday, August 30, 2013

Back to School Lunch Ideas #B2S

cream cheese, salsa, shredded cheese and green pepper wrap, orange slices, tostitos and a frozen yogurt tube

With Mr. J entering full days this year, I am now tasked with finding great lunch ideas for him.  He is not a huge sandwich eater, and I worry that he will get bored with the same thing over and over.

I found a great blog with 30 days worth of ideas - Peanut Blossom.  Check it out to get some ideas if you are stuck in a rut.

Here is one of ours - I actually made this to take on a pool day we were having, but it is something that I would make for school too!

grab a wrap and spread cream cheese on it
add green peppers and shredded cheese, roll and slice!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's apple picking season!

In September 2010, a tradition was started with our family and good friends of ours (Heart Mom). She and I, along with my teenage cousin, took our children to Mountain Orchards for the very first time.

memories from our first visit to Mountain Orchards


The next fall we made arrangements to go back together, but this time the little ones were able to enjoy it as well.  The 4 kids always have fun together, and being outside on a beautiful day was so much fun for all of us.

2nd visit to Mountain Orchards - 2011
2012 came and we made the trek back again - this time there was a new addition, as our friends had their 3rd child the previous spring.  You can read about our third visit HERE.

With apple picking season upon us, I thought it would be a great time to revisit - we have already made our plans to visit this fall and I am very excited. If you live anywhere near the Ottawa area, I highly recommend Mountain Orchards for the great family fun - it's free (well, you need to pay for your purchases) but parking, wagon rides (only available on weekends), hay jump, hiking, corn mazes are all at no cost.  I would suggest you go on a saturday or sunday - this will give you the opportunity to try the amazing apple cider donuts!

If you are not near Ottawa, then I would suggest that you look up the local orchards in your area and choose one to visit.  There is something delicious about eating freshly picked fruits!

This year on my list to make after our visit is Apple Pie, Apple Crisp, Apple Cake and Apple Sauce! What are your favorite things to make with apples?

**This is NOT a sponsored post. Tales of Mommyhood did not receive compensation in any form for this post. As always, opinion stated belongs to Tales of Mommyhood and your opinion/experience may vary**

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School with DK Canada #B2S



Celebrate back to school with DK Canada.  They are offering 30% off their back to school boutique for a limited time, and orders over $50.00 have free shipping too!

DK Canada Back to school

Back To School With Office Depot




Now that Mr. J has entered the school system, the last few weeks of our summer vacation includes getting ready for back to school.  Between new clothing (check here to find ways to save on this!) and often a new back pack, school supplies and the mental preparation involved in switching from summer mode to school mode - it's a busy time.

Back to School can be an expensive time of year; it's manageable for us right now, but I don't look forward to the cost when we have two to buy for. It seems that every year more and more items are needed.


How would you feel if you couldn't afford to purchase the basic items needed to start the school year off? Office Depot knows that there are many families in that position, and every year they donate "sackpacks" to families that need them. This is the 13th year they have been doing this; by the end of this campaign, they will have donated to 3 million children. These sackpacks comes in 6 different colours with kid-friendly graphics, and carry no Office Depot or Office Depot Foundation Logos on them. They include a zippered pouch filled with a pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, 6" ruler and 4 crayons. The sackpacks are meant primarily for use with kids up to grade 5; however older students may also find use for them.  They are made from the same material as backpacks, and are water resistant. They have no metal parts and store flat and are able to hold quite a few supplies and books.

Every Office Depot store in the US will receive 50 sackpacks to give to non-profit organizations and schools in the community. The sackpacks come in 6 different colours and have different designs on them.  They are not marked with.

**Tales of Mommyhood received product in exchange for this post. All opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood, and your opinion/experience may vary**

WW: Spiderman Birthday Cake


Happy 3rd Birthday Mr. K

Today is Mr. K's 3rd birthday - hard to believe that it was 3 years ago he came into our lives; he has brought such joy to our family (and created some chaos as well).

Right after waking up today - on his 3rd birthday

happy birthday mr k

He chose to have a spiderman birthday party this year, and we held it at Brinkeetos with a few of his friends. Once I found out what it was he wanted, I had a vision of the cake I was going to make in my head.  It did NOT turn out quite how I wanted it; I was actually at the point of tears and was going to throw it out and remake it.  Mr. J was with me, and said that he loved it, and it did not matter if I liked it because I made it and Mr. K was going to love it.  That, of course, had me crying more - sometimes 6 year olds can be wise.  I decided to put it in the freezer and leave it until the morning. When Mr.K woke, I took him to see the cake and he was ECSTATIC - apparently, while it may not have met my standards, it certainly met or exceeded his.
He was super excited to head to Brinkeetos and see all of his friends.  I think all the kids had fun, they seemed to be enjoying the freedom to run around and play!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

EPIC - Review

Every now and then a movie comes along that just capture your attention and draws you in.  That's what it was like for me when I watched EPIC with my boys.  It was a movie we wanted to see from the first time we watched a preview, and it definitely did not disappoint.

When I asked my oldest what he thought of it, he said that he loved it - and that he wanted to become tiny and live in the forest with the trees.

If you haven't seen it - it's one to check out.  Great for the whole family to enjoy (which isn't something so easy to come across now)
Feel free to print out some free activity sheets for your kids too - you can find them HERE

**Tales of Mommyhood was sent the above item in exchange for this review and hosting the giveaway; all opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood and yours may vary**

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kellogg's 2013 Innovation Line Up and a GIVEAWAY

I love to receive packages - it's kind of like Christmas morning while I wait to see what is inside!  One of the great things about being a part of the Kelloggers Network is receiving shipments every few months filled with some classic Kellogg's products, but also some new items!  My latest Kellogger shipment arrived last week, and as always my family was anxious to open it to see what products were included.

Giveaway Linky August 26

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to School with Coleman and a GIVEAWAY!

Back to School is just around the corner - kids in our school board start back the Tuesday after Labour Day, which gives us a little over 1 week to go (this makes me sad - I am not quite ready for summer to be over)
Over the last week or so we have been getting B2S ready - we tried out his new lunchbag (a kids soft sided cooler from Coleman).

I wanted to make sure that it would hold everything he needed for his lunch, so we did a practice run.

He wanted a Turkey Sandwich (in the plastic sandwich container), pumpkin muffin (in a Norwex reusable snack bag), hard boiled egg, frozen yogurt tube and some cucumber (hidden next to the muffin). He has a large water bottle that fits in the side pocket of his back pack - although I think a juice box would still fit inside the cooler as well.



Mr. J was super excited to have a brand new lunch kit, and I really like the fact that it is insulated, so it should help to keep things cool until it is time for lunch.

It might be time for Back to School - but there is still plenty of nice weather left. Cottage season won't be over for another few weeks, and with the heatwave we are having now - there is still lots of picnic time left too! With that in mind, Coleman Canada is offering up one of my readers a Soft Sided Cooler. Open to Canadian residents only.  To enter, fill out the rafflecopter form below - mandatory entries must be completed or other entries will count.  Good luck!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Watching your child succeed and overcoming their fears

I have written before about Mr. J and his fear of water.  We had a great summer last year, and he finally was comfortable in the water - but still very fearful of his face/head getting wet.

I had him in swimming lessons in the fall - but they didn't go very well. He was fine in the water, but he wouldn't put his face anywhere near it, or his head - and he refused to jump in.

This summer, I enrolled him in private lessons in someone's backyard - and he did amazingly well (considering where he was starting from) he perfected his kick and made improvements on his floats - but he still would not put his head in.

Last week, I lucked in and got the boys each 2 extra lessons. I am sure the instructor he had was ready to strangle him - but he was very patient with him. Although he never did dunk himself, he very slowly made progress with putting his face in.
overcoming fear of water

Yesterday, hubby's cousin invited us for a pool day at her dad's place.  The boys have their puddle jumpers and they were having lots of fun.  I always try to entice Mr. J to put his face/head in by making a deal (you put your face in, I will jump in/cannonball in etc).  He put his face in, so I jumped in. Then his dad told him that he would get in if he did it again. He did, so his dad upped it by telling him if he put his WHOLE head in, then he would dive off the diving board.

It took quite a few minutes and "practice" but he DID it. Once he did it, he didn't want to stop. He kept doing it, and then having his grandpa count to see how long - he managed to get to 21 seconds!

Watching your child succeed at something they have been scared of, and overcoming that fear is such an amazing feeling.  Seeing the pride on his face, and the confidence he gained from it was such a great thing to witness.  He was so comfortable, that he was even jumping off the side onto the raft.

fear of water

August 19 - Giveaway Linky

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cottonelle Clean Routine - Lets Talk About Your Bum!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cottonelle.


Ctnl-Brand-Logo

I am a mom to two young boys. My oldest is 6, and my youngest is just about 3. Living in a house full of boys took some getting used to. For some reason, boys have this obsession with bodily functions.  Not only are Mr. K and Mr. J obsessed with them, they think they are the most hilarious thing in the entire world.  I am constantly surrounded by burps and farts, talk of burps and farts – and the latest? They run at me, turn their bum towards me and make fart noises from their mouths, then yell “I poop on you” or “I fart on you” and kill themselves laughing.


Cottonelle Care Routine


Funny as this may be to them, it is something that I am still adjusting to. At some point, most people seem to outgrow open talk of bodily functions and start to get shy about them – even though EVERYONE poops. There is even a children’s book titled “everyone poops” and it is geared for toddlers/pre-schoolers to try and get them over their fear/embarrassment/anxiousness of having a bowel movement. Then we go right back to keeping everything hidden behind the bathroom door.

Cottonelle wants to get the conversation started and have partnered with Cherry Healey to get people to open up about how they wipe! Let's talk about bums - Have you tried the Cottonelle Clean Routine?  Start off by using Cottonelle toilet paper and finish up with Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths.  

If we are being honest, you must admit that there are times where dry toilet paper just DOES NOT cut it. The flushable cleansing cloths give you that extra clean and leave you fresh.  Think about it: would you use a dry tissue to clean your hands? No. If soap and water is not available, I will use a moist wipe. When I clean my counters, I use a damp microfiber cloth – not a dry one.  Why should our bums be any different?


Cottonelle Flushable Wipes


When I first tried the Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths, I will admit that it was a little weird – but once I got used to it, I will admit that nothing leaves me fresher than the Cottonelle Clean Routine. Visit the Cottonelle facebook page and lets talk about your bum!

Cottonelle wants to get you talking about your bum and on a better way to clean “down there” by using the Cottonelle Clean Routine. By combining the use of Cottonelle Toilet Paper and Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths, the Cottonelle Clean Routine is a revolutionary way to keep your bum cleaner. Are you ready? Don’t be shy! Visit www.facebook.com/cottonelle to learn more about the Cottonelle Clean Routine and join the clean routine conversation.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cottonelle.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

UPDATE on our 2013 Summer Bucket List

With only 2 weeks left to go in the summer, I decided to update our bucket list - you can see the post about that HERE

We have decided to hold off on #2 until next year, when Mr. K is a little bit older and able to enjoy Upper Canada a bit more. Since we only have 2 weeks left of summer vacation, we are going to have to choose between ValleyView animal farm and the experimental farm - I think they will choose VV.  Also looking like funhaven and the fire station won't happen - and most likely not the childrens museum either.

  • Go to Aunt Bev's Cottage
  • Upper Canada Village
  • Bike Rides
  • Family Water Fight (we did this last week while hubby was on holidays)
  • Go for ice cream
  • Movie theater (we saw Monsters U. today!)
  • Go to a splash pad
  • Go to the park
  • Work on learning to tie shoes
  • Bake yummy treats
  • Visit the fire station with my cousin (volunteer fire fighter)
  • Visit to Funhaven
  • Visit (or many) to Brinkeetos
  • Have a sleepover (away from home and AT home)
  • Have friends over for a game of tag
  • Visit the Childrens Museum
  • Visit Valley View Little Animal Farm
  • Visit the Central Experimental Farm
  • Mini Putt
  • Go Karts
  • Friday, August 16, 2013

    Bumpers Up - The Adventures of Chuck & Friends

    My boys love vehicles - trucks, cars, planes pretty much anything that moves.  They are also big fans of Chuck and the gang.  We have had a few rainy afternoons lately and pulling out this new dvd was a great way for them to NOT be at each others throats - they loved seeing the new adventures Chuck and his friends had!

    The Adventures Of Chuck & Friends:
    Bumpers Up!
    Available on DVD August 13 from Shout! Factory Kids


    Chuck and his friends are getting ready to throw good times into high gear! The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Bumpers Up! will arrive on DVD on August 13, 2013, from Shout! Factory Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, LLC. Featuring 10 exhilarating episodes and exciting bonus content, The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Bumpers Up! is priced to own at $12.99.

    The unbelievably fun adventures of Chuck, the little dump truck with big dreams, and his friends—Digger, Handy, Rowdy, Biggs, Boomer and Flip — continue with 10 more exciting cartoons from The Adventures Of Chuck & Friends. Chuck’s adventures in movies, music and art will have yourolling with laughter and cheer! No matter what obstacles are in his way, Chuck knows that with good friends and a little imagination, he’s always going to cross the finish line a winner.

    The Adventures of Chuck & Friends series is currently airing on The Hub TV Network in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada.

    Episodes Include:

    1. Choosy Chuck

    2. The Art Of Being Chuck

    3. Commercial Trucks

    4. Prince Chuck

    5. Lights, Cameras, Trucks!

    6. Truck And Roll

    7. Contest Countdown

    8. Soku-Kun

    9. Rowdy The Rock Star

    10. Flower Power


    Bonus Features:

    Also includes a brand new sing-along!

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Frustrating day - ending it with #steamwhistle

    Do you ever have those days, where life just seems to get away from you? Things go wrong from the time you wake up till you go back to bed?
    Well, today is like that for me. It actually started last night; I went to take Mr. K to his nursery school meet and greet, and the car wouldn't start. This is the 3rd time in 4 months - apparently the problem wasn't fixed either time I took it to be repaired.

    This morning, call the garage and arrange for a tow truck. Double check that it won't start - still nothing.  Tow truck driver arrives, asks me the problem, takes the keys from me and it starts immediately.  He turned it on/off 3 or 4 times and it worked every time.......

    Sure, it's great that it is working - but WHY was it NOT working? Having 2 kids with me the majority of times I am out, it's nerve racking to think that at any point it may not start.

    The kids were going batty (probably picking up on my vehicle frustrations) and I realized that my house is at the point for a top-bottom cleaning - which I just don't have the energy for today....it's on the list for next week.

    The silver lining for today? Meeting up tonight with the crew from Steam Whistle for drinks and food! Looking forward to a night out with my hubby after a frustrating day.

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Wordless Wednesday - park fun!


    Tasty Tuesday - Home Made Pizza Crust featuring #SteamWhistle Beer

    Over the last few months, we have been trying out more home made foods - including home made pizza.  I had tried out 2 or 3 different pizza dough recipes, and while they were all edible, hubby asked me to keep looking for a new recipe.

    I went on the hunt some more, and found a great one at Changes Made Easy (the same blog I found the bagels on).  

    This pizza crust turns out light, airy and crispy - unlike most of the dough's I tried, which turned out very dense and heavy.

    Here is the recipe:

    Pizza Crust
    1 cup Steam Whistle beer
    2 Tbsp oil
    2 Tbsp sugar
    1 Tsp salt
    2 - 2 1/2 cups of Flour
    2.5 Tsp of active dry yeast


    I am going to send you over to Changes Made Easy for the directions.

    I have made this 3 times. Twice with a mixer, and once with the bread maker. They turn out the same.  The last time I made it, I doubled the recipe.  I made a pizza large enough to fill a cookie sheet, and I took the rest of the dough and made garlic bread with it - it was delicious.

    Garlic Bread 
    reserved dough from pizza crust
    3 cloves of garlic
    1/3 cup softened butter (approximately, I did not really measure)
    parsley to garnish
    cornmeal

    using a garlic press, mince the garlic cloves and add to softened butter - mix together
    roll out the dough on a surface sprinkled with cornmeal
    bake for approx 15 minutes
    remove from oven, spread with butter/garlic mixture and garnish with parsley
    place back in oven for 3-5 minutes
    remove from oven, cut into sections and enjoy
    **next time I am going to add some parmesan cheese**

    You may also like Soup Roundup

    Saturday, August 10, 2013

    Monsters University - Available on Blu-ray and DVD on October 29th!

    The date is set - you will soon be able to bring home Monsters University on Blu-ray and DVD!!!!  This was the first movie that I took Mr. K to see in the theater!  Mr. J loved it, and will be super excited to add it to our collection!


    Shark Week 2013

    I don't know about you, but my family is always super excited about Shark Week on Discovery Channel. My oldest has been absolutely LOVING all the shows that we have watched so far (we have been PVR'ing them and watching the following day).

    With Shark Week coming to an end, we will watch Jaws tonight (still undecided if we will let him watch it or not, he is only 6 - although I was about that age when I watched it for the first time).

    If your kids have been interested in Shark Week - why not keep the learning going? Check out the DK Canada book on Sharks I talked about HERE.

    What was your favorite episode this week? Not sure what my favorite was, but I did find the top 10 most dangerous sharks pretty fascinating - that cookie cutter shark was very interesting.

    Friday, August 9, 2013

    A Fun Day Out - Mini-Golfing at Karters Korner

    ottawa go karts mini golf


    Growing up, my parents loved to do family activities together. One of our favorites was to go to Karters Korner - they had go-karts and mini-golf, a small arcade, canteen and later expanded to add a driving range. We always had a good time, and I even remember celebrating my birthday there with my friends one year.

    Hubby and I used to go with friends also, and would make use of the driving range on occasion.  Over the last few years, it has expanded even more.  They now have a paintball area, kiddy carts (battery powered 4 wheelers that are child sized for riders under 53 inches) and a large covered area with MANY picnic tables.

    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Crocs Jibbitz Sunglasses - Protect Your Child's Eyes While Showing Off Their Personality

    Mr. J showing off the cool Crocs Jibbitz sunglasses we received
    One way you can help to keep your eyes healthy is to wear sunglasses while outside; as I have aged, they are a must for me while outside, especially if I am driving -I find that my eyes have gotten much more light sensitive in the last 2-3 years.

    It's really important to start from a young age, and Crocs have released a new line of sunglasses called Jibbitz. These sunglasses will protect your children's eyes from UVA, UVB and UVC rays, and are equipped with a Jibbitz joint, where you can attache charms to personalize them based on your child's personality.

    We were sent a pair of sunglasses along with a basketball and dump truck charm (perfect for my vehicle loving boys)

    **Tales of Mommyhood was sent the above mentioned product free of charge in exchange for this review; opinions expressed belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your opinion/experience may vary**

    Cottage 2013 and our review of the Stearns Deluxe Puddle Jumper

    This past weekend was a long weekend.. It was also a VERY busy weekend for Mr. J.  At the start of summer, we made our Bucket List for Summer 2013.  Two of the items on the list were having a sleepover and going to my aunt's cottage. Both of those were crossed off the list.

    Saturday he was invited to his Gramz house with my niece and nephew for a sleepover, he was really looking forward to it and according to him they had a lot of fun. It was a late night (11:15) but he did sleep in a bit in the morning.

    Mr. K and I headed the next morning and we all (my mom, the boys and I as well as my brother and his family) packed up and headed to Golden Lake.  It's about a 90 minute drive from where we live, and we were spending the day up there with my aunt and uncle.
    The trunk packed up, the boys ready to go, timbits from our routine stop at Tim Hortons and finally, playing on the beach (they didn't even want to get their swimsuits on right away - they needed to get to the sand)

    The kids all had a blast playing on the beach and in the water.  Even though Golden Lake is super shallow, and they can walk out quite far with the water not rising above their knees - I am still not comfortable without them having some kind of flotation device.  Traditional life jackets are uncomfortable to wear (even for me as an adult) and they don't like them.  I was recently sent a Stearns Deluxe Puddle Jumper to test out with my youngest son.  I knew that heading to the cottage was a great time to do it.

    The design of the puddle jumper is much different than a traditional life jacket or PFD; there are arm bands that are attached to a middle piece, with a single buckle that does up in the back making them easy for adults to get on and off the kids. Another awesome feature is the material is Anti-Microbial (helps inhibit growth of bacteria) They are designed as a swim aid and help to give kids confidence in the water.  Puddle Jumpers come in a variety of designs (the one we were sent is orange/red with a crab - and I purchased the blue one for my older son, knowing that he would also want one)
    Here you can see the design, the arm bands and the piece for the torso; on the back of the Puddle Jumper, it has instructions and tells you which arm goes where and there is a picture of how it should look

    I have heard other moms raving about Puddle Jumpers for quite some time, but until now had not tried them out with my kids.  I am amazed. Even having just finished swimming lessons, my oldest is nervous around water. After giving the Puddle Jumper a try, his fear has lessened. My youngest, on the other hand never had a fear at all, and this gives me some peace of mind knowing that if he does escape from me and end up in the water, that his head will stay above.
    Mr. K wearing his brand new Deluxe Puddle Jumper - watching his brother jump off the dock

    We took a break from the water for a bit and they played in the sand, then we headed across the road to get the kids ice cream cones; afterwards, we played some more and had dinner (well, minus my niece and Mr. J because they were digging in the sand and making a large puddle.


    It was so nice making our trek up to Golden Lake; not so relaxing for me since Mr. K has almost ZERO attention span; added in to the fact that there is a 3 year age gap between him and the older kids made for a long day. Even still, it was fun. I thought for sure they would fall asleep on the way home, but that was not the case.  Mr. J slept for about 15 minutes, but Mr. K was awake the entire trip.  He did however, sleep in this morning for me which meant that I got to wake up at 6:30am instead of 5 (but this is rare).

    Have you used a Puddle Jumper before? What are your thoughts?

    **Tales of Mommyhood was sent a Deluxe Puddle Jumper for review; all opinions expressed belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your experience/opinion may vary**

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Leafman Cookbook and Epic (the movie) giveaway!

     Leafman Cookbook

    epic the movie giveaway

    Debuting on Blu-ray & DVD August 20

                                                           
     The Leafmen are always busy trying to fight against the forces of evil, but they need healthy foods to keep them running! Take a tip from them and make snacks for your little ones that use natural ingredients like fruits and vegetables. These recipes are as fun to make as they are to eat and they’re perfect for little Leafmen!

    From the creators of Ice Age, the year’s funniest, most exhilarating animated adventure comes home as EPIC debuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Deluxe Edition Blu-ray, and DVD this August 20 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Directed by Chris Wedge (The Ice Age Franchise) and featuring an amazing voice cast including Colin Farrell, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Pitbull, and BeyoncĂ©, the blockbuster film comes home just in time to help families become one with nature and end the summer in Epic style.

    Fruit Kabobs
    Fruit kabobs are a simple way to give your kids the nutrients they need. Make it even more fun by cutting the fruit into fun shapes and whipping up a yogurt dip. The kids will love to help put the fruit on the skewers!

    Apple Sandwiches
    Make a sandwich without the bread! Remove the core from an apple and then slice it to make the ends of your sandwich. You can fill it with peanut butter and mix with granola or raisins. For an extra special treat put marshmallows or chocolate chips in the center!

    Miniature Pizzas
    Bake up some miniature pizzas on English muffins. Be sure to include lots of veggies as the toppings! Let your kids decorate their own personal pizza for a fun night in. They can make faces or designs with the toppings.
    Butterfly Celery
    You can really get into the Epic sprit with this one! Celebrate nature with butterfly celery snacks. Fill your celery stalk with cream cheese or peanut butter then create wings and antenna with pretzels, and line the body with raisins or peanuts. These treats are not only fun to play with, but delicious and nutritious!
    Banana Roll-Ups
    Spread some peanut butter on a wrap and then roll up a banana inside for a quick and easy sandwich on the go. You can add jelly into the mix or leave it simple and speedy. Either way, this is a healthy treat the kids are sure to enjoy!

    Use the rafflecopter form below to enter for your chance to win a copy of epic - available on Blu-ray and DVD August 20, 2013. Contest open to Canada and US

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Epic - Free Printable Activity Sheets

    My family and I are so excited about the upcoming release of Epic - I was just sent 2 free printable activity sheets to share with you!

    To print them, you will need to right click the picture, save as to your computer and then you will be able to print them.


    I hope your children enjoy these great activity sheets - have you seen Epic yet? What did you think?

    Monday, August 5, 2013

    Brinkeetos play date and Sling Bag Review!

    This past week I had the chance to get together with a friend and her son.  We have been friends for close to 25 years (which is pretty hard to believe) but we don't often get the chance to get together.  We are lucky, though, that our boys (Mr. K and her son Charlie) are only a few weeks apart in age.

    This week, we were supposed to meet up at a local splash pad, but that ended up not working out, and we met at Brinkeetos instead.  When I go out with the boys to a park or play center, I don't like to bring my purse.  It doesn't have a zippered top, and I always worry about things falling out, or a child getting into it.

    I recently received a Kids Sling Bag from Our Family World, and knew this would be a great time to test it out.

    A look at thebag, the inside of the front pocket and the samples/coupons that came with it!
    Our Family World has only recently launched their line of bags, all with the slogan "feels good to help". $2.00 from each sale goes to a foundation that helps children in need.  Each bag also comes with some type of sample (the ones included in my bag were samples of Iron Kids Gummies, and coupons for the same product as well!)

    The Kids Sling Bag was the perfect size for all my necessities (but still small enough that Mr. J would be able to use it without issue) It held my wallet, snacks, change of clothes for Mr. K, a water bottle in the side mesh pocket and my keys in the front zippered pocket.  I was able to wear the bag while we were out without feeling like I was weighed down and without worry of it falling off (as a purse strap might)

    We had a terrific time playing and visiting, Mr. K had his afternoon snack at the kids tables and enjoyed all the jumping into the ball pit, climbing the wall and running around in one of the slings they have.  I have definitely found my go-to bag for taking the kids out!

    Don't forget to connect with Our Family World on Facebook and Twitter

    **Tales of Mommyhood was provided the bag at no charge in exchange for this review; all opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your experience/opinion may vary**

    Keep The Kids Reading This Summer with DK Canada

    My oldest is heading into Grade 1 this September, and is starting to learn to read.  He had a little bit of trouble getting started, and we wanted to make sure that we helped any way we could.


    One way that we have found is to ensure that we have a nightly reading routine; he does tire of the same books all the time though, so I was really happy when I was given the chance to pick a couple of the leveled readers from DK Canada!

    They have over 150 titles to choose from.  They start at Pre-Level (learning to read) and go up to Level 4 (proficient readers)

    I searched through the Level 1 titles and decided that Dinosaurs Day

    and Train Travel  would be 2 great books to read with my boys.  Mr. J really enjoys the train travel book and Mr. K is more fond of the Dinosaurs Day book.  They are short books, so you don't lose the interest of the child.  Each page is filled with only short sentences, so it is great to help kids when they are just starting to read.

    There is a promotion on right now, if you go to DK Canada website, you can purchase 2 leveled readers and receive the 3rd for free! Great deal if you have kids that are in the learning to read stage!


    **I received the above titles at no charge in exchange for this review; all opinions expressed belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your experience/opinion may vary**

    August 5th Giveaway Linky

    Link up any open giveaways you have - remember to list the end date, and which countries are eligible to win. Thanks for linking up, and good luck to anyone entering!

    Friday, August 2, 2013

    PostPartum Depression - Don't Suffer Alone

    When my oldest was born, it never occurred to me that I might be suffering from any sort of postpartum depression.  I had times where I was slightly sad (considering that he was whisked away right after birth and transferred to CHEO at less than a day old, I wasn't really surprised) When he came home, I loved it. Taking care of him was what I was meant to do. But some times, when the crying just wouldn't end - I would cry right along with him.  It wasn't just about the crying though, I was sad. It was a different kind of sad than I had felt before.  I never thought of harming myself, or of harming him.

    But still, I never thought I was experiencing PPD.  That is, until my youngest was born.  I honestly could not believe the difference in my emotions.  I had some triggers that would have me in tears, but I was generally happy and upbeat.  It was like night and day compared to when my oldest was a newborn.  At my 6 week check up, my doctor asked me about things - and I was very honest with her.  She agreed that I had probably been suffering with mild PPD after Mr. J was born.

    There has been so much in the news recently about PPD and women harming their children and/or themselves.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE seek help. Tell your husband, your mother, your best friend and your doctor.  Do not feel that you are bothering them, or making things seem worse than they are. Lean on them for support.

    To know you are not alone, here are some links from other bloggers that have also written about PPD:

    Maple Leaf Mommy
    Mayahood
    Many Waters 
    Kids in Kanata

    If you have written about PPD, please leave me the link in the comments below and I will add it into this post

    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Summer is Half Over :(

    Today is August 1st, and summer is now half over. Hard to believe how fast the month of July went by.  I thought I would do an update on our bucket list!

    1. Go to Aunt Bev's Cottage
    2. Upper Canada Village
    3. Bike Rides
    4. Family Water Fight 
    5. Go for ice cream
    6. Movie theater 
    7. Go to a splash pad
    8. Go to the park
    9. Work on learning to tie shoes
    10. Bake yummy treats
    11. Visit the fire station with my cousin (volunteer fire fighter)
    12. Visit to Funhaven
    13. Visit (or many) to Brinkeetos
    14. Have a sleepover (away from home and AT home)
    15. Have friends over for a game of tag
    16. Visit the Childrens Museum
    17. Visit Valley View Little Animal Farm
    18. Visit the Central Experimental Farm
    19. Mini Putt
    20. Go Karts
    We will be crossing off #1 and #14 this weekend also! How has your summer gone - have you done all of what you had hoped?