Monday, March 31, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty {giveaway}


In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty a timid magazine photo manager (Ben Stiller), who lives life vicariously through daydreams, must embark on an incredible real-life adventure when a priceless negative goes missing. One of the places that this adventure takes Mitty is the beautiful Nordic country of Iceland. In honor of the film’s Blu-ray and DVD release on April 15th, we’re bringing you nine facts about the country that you may have never heard.

1. Icelandic language has been relatively unchanged for the last 1000 years.
Modern inhabitants of Iceland speak a language almost identical to that spoken by the country’s original Viking settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries.

2. There are 130 volcanic mountains in the roughly 40,000 square miles that make up Iceland.
18 of them have erupted in the last 1000 years, and the largest one covers nearly 8% of the country’s surface.

3. Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city.

Iceland is so far north of the equator that the country experiences nearly continuous daylight during the summer months of June and July.

4. Surveys have shown that nearly 80% of Icelanders believe in the existence of elves.
The elves are thought to have magical powers, and special “elf negotiators” are sometimes brought in when construction is to take place in an area believed to be inhabited by the creatures.

5. Icelanders love movies.
They watch more films, per capita, than the people of any other country in the world.

6. Iceland is one of the most energy-efficient countries in the world.

70% of the energy used by Icelanders is produced by the country’s natural geothermal and hydroelectric resources.

7. Iceland’s main industry is fishing.
In fact, the usually peaceful nation entered into a series of confrontations with the United Kingdom in the 1950’s and 1970’s when the British refused to acknowledge an “exclusive fishery zone” that Iceland had instituted in the waters off its coast.

8. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe.

Roughly 322,000 people call the island nation home.

9. One of Iceland’s traditional foods is called hakarl.
It’s a dish of rotting and fermented shark meat.

giveaway, secret life of walter mitty, ben stiller

See the natural splendor of Iceland for yourself when The Secret Life of Walter Mitty comes to Blu-ray and DVD April 15th!

Time for a Giveaway! Complete the form below to earn entries for your chance to win a copy of The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty on Blu ray/DVD combo!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Baseball Equipment For Your Little Leaguer: A Parent's Guide

With the baseball season revving up, it’s sure to be a summer of fun in the sun for both fans and players alike. Little League has become a rite of passage for many American children, with kids all over the country signing up for the season. Marking its 75th year, The American Little League Association is stronger and more popular than ever before. If you’re the parent of a kid who’s heading off to participate in the nation’s favorite pastime, it’s easy to get confused by the range of baseball equipment on offer and what you actually need to buy to keep your child both safe and happy.

Get the right bat.
Few things can impact your child’s game like their bat can, and getting one that fits their size and ability can be a crucial element to their success on the field. For most kids 12 and under, a 2 ¼” barrel is perfect, and is also the standard size for Dixie Youth and Little League baseball associations. Some leagues are using slightly larger barrels at 2 ¾”, so it’s important to check with your team before purchasing baseball equipment. As a general rule, most kids do well starting out with a lighter bat, as it can help them to learn to swing easier. As they grow, you can increase the bat weight to help build their muscles and increase their home run swing potential. Bats come in a variety of materials as well. Check with your child’s coach to ensure you’re purchasing the one that complies with league standards for baseball equipment.

Choosing a glove.
Your kid’s glove is essentially an extension of their hand, and a good fit is important. Though as a parent it’s tempting to buy a glove they can “grow into,” opting for a child’s glove gives the best element of safety. When looking for baseball equipment from, you can engage with their experts to ensure that your child gets the exact glove they need. Try using a youth sizing guide which can help you select a glove based on the position your child is playing on the field, as well as the measurements of their hand. Both left and right-handed gloves are available. Youth sizes for gloves provide shorter, narrower finger stalls and a tighter wrist closure which gives greater control, helping to prevent those dangerous misses when catching.

The importance of protective baseball equipment.
Keeping your child safe on the field is generally your number one concern when you’re a parent. Fortunately, the Little League Association has come up with a handy checklist of safety baseball equipment items you may want to invest in if your son or daughter is planning on spending time on the field. Cups and pelvic protectors are a good idea for both boys and girls, as is a heart guard or rib protector. If your child wears glasses, it’s important to ensure that they’re shatterproof, as an accident with a mishandled ball could lead to serious injury. A mouth guard is also an excellent idea for all children, particularly when they’re batting.
Whether your child is taking the field for the first time or a seasoned pro, getting the right equipment can have a lot to do with their success. Look for online retailers that have a wealth of knowledge and experts on hand to ensure that you’re buying exactly what you need. The more information you have, the better off your child will be.  Visit the Little League site for more information on baseball equipment for your kids.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Disney's The Pirate Fairy Will Be Available on DVD and Blu ray Combo Pack April 1st

Disney, The Pirate Fairy, family movies, tinkerbell
From the world of “Peter Pan” comes “The Pirate Fairy,” a swashbuckling new adventure about Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks), a smart and ambitious dust-keeper fairy who’s captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. When Zarina’s wild ideas get her into trouble, she flees Pixie Hollow and joins forces with the scheming pirates of Skull Rock, who make her captain of their ship. Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman) and her friends must embark on an epic adventure to find Zarina, and together they go sword-to-sword with the band of pirates led by a cabin boy named James (voice of Tom Hiddleston), who’ll soon be known as Captain Hook himself. With laughter, heart, magic and thrills, “The Pirate Fairy” sets sail April 1, 2014.

Another great Disney movie that kids are sure to love. My boys love to watch anything created by Disney, and The Pirate Fairy is no different! They love that the fairies and the pirates are shown together in a movie.  Baby Croc was my favourite, and seeing how he became Tick Tock Croc

You can own the movie on April 1 2014 when it is released on DVD and Blu ray combo!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Cleaning With Walmart Canada #springinspiration

walmart, spring cleaning, organizing, #springinspiration challenge

Walmart Canada asked me to join the #springinspiration challenge - and I accepted! The goal? Shop at Walmart with a budget of $100.00 for my spring cleaning needs!  I decided that it was time to re-vamp Mr. K's bedroom - there isn't anything in there for storage at the moment (other than some large industrial type boxes) and I wanted to tidy it up.

I started by going through his closet; by doing this, I managed to fill a garbage bag with clothes to donate, and a box of items to sell (if they don't sell by the time the bag gets picked up, they will go with items to donate)
#springinspiration challenge, room organizing, reading nook
room before - you can see the bag and box of clothes to go

Next, deciding what I wanted. Mr. K loves to look at books, but other than his bed there isn't anywhere comfy for him to do it. I made a choice to create a little reading nook for him.

I knew I would need to find something comfy for him to sit on/with, as well as a book case. While I was at Walmart, I happened to come across a cool sling type book shelf, and knew it would work perfectly for holding his books.  I still went ahead and bought the book case so that his cars and other toys could be stored (and his fan and radio as well)
walmart, #springinspiration challenge, reading nook, spring cleaning
the items we purchased - and my cute little helper !
I set to work by taking everything out of the area I wanted to set up. Then I put together the book shelf with the help of Mr. J (he loves to help). I am NOT a handy person or a DIY'er, so it took me a little longer than it may take most - about 20 minutes for the shelf and 30 minutes for the book case. I am quite sure hubby could have had them BOTH together in less than 20 minutes...but I wanted to do it.

Once I had the items together, I set up the area how I wanted it (and added in a few stuffies of Mr. K's)
walmart, #springinspiration challenge, spring cleaning, reading nook
all set
I was given a $100.00 Walmart Canada gift card to complete this challenge. I was keeping track as I shopped, and the total to complete the book nook was $90.18 (including taxes). Since I had money left over, I decided to purchase a shelf to use in one of my kitchen cabinets to help give me some extra storage space, which brought my total up to $99.19 - so I MADE the challenge!

walmart, #springinspiration challenge, spring cleaning, reading nook

Walmart Canada wants to offer YOU the chance to win a $100.00 gift card to assist with YOUR spring cleaning needs!  What is the job you dread the most when it comes to spring cleaning?

For your chance to win this awesome prize, simply fill out the form below - remember to complete the mandatory entries (skill testing question and blog comment) Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only (18+ and excluding Quebec) Giveaway will close at 1159pm(est) April 4, 2014.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Visiting Disney World With Small Children #disney

I am a huge Disney lover. All things Disney. My first experience with the theme parks was on my honeymoon. Hubby and I spent a week at the Grand Floridian and had an amazing time. We spent lots of our visit at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We thoroughly enjoyed Animal Kingdom, although only needed a half day or so to visit that park.  For us, Disney Hollywood Studio's is our least favourite.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Diaper Savings That Don't Stink

Becoming a parent is a life-changing event.The first time you set your eyes on your first baby, you instantly experience a bond that is like no other. Watching your child explore the world helps you to pay attention to things you might otherwise ignore. It’s exciting to watch a child figure out things for the first time that we adults take for granted. Children remind us that every day can be a miracle.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Running with Roselle {book review}

My children are often running around, chasing each other, bumping into things and falling down. Of course I worry they will get hurt, but they can't live in a bubble. Would I feel the same way about them exploring if they couldn't see? I am not sure - hard to know how you would react in situations that you haven't faced.

Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1 {review}

My kids absolutely love How To Train Your Dragon; they were super excited when Dragons: Riders of Berk was released on DVD and now even more excited that Dragons: Defenders of Berk Pt 1 is available for purchase as well.

We received a DVD copy for review, and the kids were ecstatic. We had just returned from a movie at the theater, where they saw the trailer for How To Train Your Dragon 2 (to be released in June) and this got them even more wound up about the release of the sequel.

The boys love watching what Hiccup, Toothless and the rest of the characters are up to, and it's a great way to hold the kids over until the movie is released.  They can see their favourite characters on new adventures and challenges!

The Chuck and Shut is Clean!

You probably read the title of this post and have absolutely no idea what I am talking about. Only a select few family members probably understand.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Book Thief Blu-ray {review}

Available on Blu-ray and DVD March 11
Based on the beloved best-selling book comes an “extremely moving” (Leonard Maltin, Indiewire) story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany. When her mother can no longer care for her, Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) is adopted by a German couple (OSCAR® Winner Geoffrey Rush* and OSCAR® Nominee Emily Watson**). Although she arrives illiterate, Liesel is encouraged to learn to read by her adoptive father. When the couple then takes in Max (Ben Schnetzer), a Jew hiding from Hitler’s army, Liesel befriends him. Ultimately, words and imagination provide the friends with an escape from the events unfolding around them in this extraordinary, acclaimed film directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).

Overcoming Challenges And Learning To Read

I have written many times in the past about Mr. J and his speech issues. For those that haven't read them, a quick recap: Mr. J had a severe speech delay (he didn't really start talking at all until 2.5, but his major word explosions were at 3 and 3.5) and he had major issues with motor planning and articulation.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

End of March Break

The weekend is here, which marks the end of March Break 2014.  I really enjoyed having Mr. J home, and we were able to do most of what we had hoped during the week.  I could have done without the constant fighting between Mr. J and Mr. K - but during the non-fighting times we had a lot of fun.

Monday Mr. J had his tutoring session (he has come SO far with his reading - but will save that for another post) and Mr. K played outside; then I took the boys to wal-mart for a few items. We came home and made Rainbow Jello and watched The Sandlot!

Tuesday we spent some time at my moms house and they built with mega blocks and played cars.

Wednesday we picked up my mom and met my brother and his 3 youngest kids at the movie theater, where we watched Mr. Peabody and Sherman (super cute movie) and then went for lunch after!

Thursday, the boys spent some time at their grandmothers house while I cleaned out my kitchen cupboard (again, another post)

Friday we did groceries, played lego, made a cake with Mr. J and the boys had some outdoor play time as well.  Then we built with lego again and hubby took Mr. J for supper!

Today we will decorate the cake (Mr. J LOVES to bake and decorate cakes/cupcakes) and then hoping to head to The Lego Movie tonight!

It is going to be very strange getting back to routine on Monday! What did you do for March Break? Head somewhere warm? 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1 {giveaway}

Based on the DreamWorks Animation Academy Award® nominated movie How to Train Your Dragon, DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK PART 1 follows Hiccup and his fellow dragon trainers as they battle to protect their island home. The young Vikings must put their dragon training skills to the test to defeat dangerous and surprising new enemies! The series features original voice talent from the film including Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse and will include, Zack Pearlman and more.

Are your kids fans of How To Train Your Dragon? Mine are (as well as hubby and I) Now is your chance to enter to win a copy of Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1 - a great way to tide your family over until the sequel is released into theaters this June!

To enter, simply fill in the form below and follow the instructions! Giveaway is open to Canada and US residents and will run until 9PM (EST) April 1st 2014. Good luck!

REMINDER: Mandatory entries MUST be completed before bonus entries. Giveaways are moderated and any entries claimed that are not completed will be disqualified.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Break - Day 2

I absolutely love having Mr. J home for the break, we have had a lot of fun together already (we had some BeyBlade Battles yesterday, and we have made rainbow jello!) Today we did some errands together and spent some time with my mom.

They have done crafts, and we have watched movies....and they have FOUGHT like crazy....oh boy, how they have fought. That is the one thing I dislike about having school breaks - the fighting, the arguing and the bickering.

It still amazes me (and I can remember it being this way with my brother too) that they can be the WORST of enemies one minute, and the best of friends the next.

How are you handling the break with your kids? Do they get along well or is there a lot of fighting?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

March Break With DK Canada

It's no secret that I am a fan of the selection that DK Canada has to offer.  With March Break here, they have a March Break Boutique which offers you a selection of activities, crafts, cooking and building to choose from - all at 30% off! Something for everyone - hands on creative activities, gift making and science kits - I am sure you will find something your kids will love!

I am really looking forward to trying some of the recipes in the Mom and Me Cookbook with the boys! They love to be with me creating in the kitchen!

If you have kids that LOVE lego like mine do, then  The Lego Ideas Book may be the way to go. Which book do you think would come in most handy at your house?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It's Time To Spring Ahead

It's that time of year - the time where the clocks will be going forward 1 hour - officially to start at 2am on Sunday, March 9th.

Daylight Savings Time begins again, although not all provinces follow suit.Saskatchewan does not use DST, and neither do Hawaii and Arizona in the US.

It's not the most favourite time of year for everyone, as they "lose" an hour of sleep - although, for many parents it is welcome because when those early morning wake ups come from their children, at least the clock is showing an hour later than normal.

How do you feel about DST? Are you a fan or do you wish that the government would do away with it?

Don't forget - set your clocks AHEAD before you go to bed for the night!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Transformers Rescue Bots: Hereos On The Scene

Rescue Bots DVD

My youngest, Mr. K (3.5) absolutely loves Rescue Bots. For Christmas he received an abundance of Rescue Bots Toys (Optimus Prime Rescue Trailer and many more!) He will talk to anyone and everyone about Boulder, Chase, Heatwave and Blades - and he can go on and on for hours about the transforming vehicles.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Hereos On The Scene will be available on DVD March 18! We already had Griffin Rock Rescue, so when this one arrived Mr. K was ecstatic, it contains 5 different episodes. He is sick right now, so the arrival came at a great time - lots of rest on the couch with his favourite show playing!

Autobots to the Rescue!
Heroes on the Scene
Own the Adventures on DVD March 18th, 2014

Join the Autobots’ best rescue team­­- CHASE, HEATWAVE, BLADES and BOULDER —for more fun-filled adventures!
 TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS: Heroes on the Scene, produced by Hasbro Studios, will be released on DVD March 18th, 2014 by Shout! Factory Kids . Featuring five exciting episodes that the whole family can enjoy, this DVD is priced to own with a suggested retail price of $14.93.
In this collection, the Rescue Bots go undercover to protect the quiet little town of Griffin Rock from the green ooze known as the Squilsh, recover treasure stolen by pirates and help Griffin Rock recover from an earthquake! Along with their human friends, the Burns family, the RESCUE BOTShelp keep people safe, and along the way they learn what it really means to be a hero!
 Executive produced by Jeff Kline (TRANSFORMERS PRIME), TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS features the vocal talents of LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five), Steve Blum (TRANSFORMERS PRIME), Maurice LaMarche (Emmy® Award winner for Futurama) and the legendary Peter Cullen who voices OPTIMUS PRIME when he makes cameo appearances in the series. The TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS series is currently airing on The HUB TV Network in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada.
Episodes Include:
The Lost Bell 
You’ve Been Squilshed 
Little White Lies 
Shake Up 
Rescue Boy
If you have a preschooler that likes action, then Rescue Bots are sure to be a hit! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

March Break Ideas

Our March Break is happening next week, from March 10-14 (although Friday is a PD day, so it's really starting on March 7th).

We don't really have any plans for the week, but we are hoping to get together with a friend and her son on Friday to see the LEGO movie!

Over the rest of the week, we will bake together (Mr. J loves to decorate cakes, so we will probably make one just so he can decorate it!)

Hoping to get together with my brother and his children, the cousins don't often see each other anymore with being in school (and I don't see my bro often either)

If the weather is nice, we will head to the outdoor rink near us and go skating (I haven't been on skates in 20 years, so that will be interesting)

The boys have been wanting to go to Brinkeetos, but every time we have a chance, someone ends up sick so we will hopefully get a visit in.

Tag Along Toys is having activities daily for kids 3-12 years old, as is Hazeldean Mall so we may make it there one day for an activity as well.

If you are up for crowds, then you can always check out one of the many museums in the area (National Art Gallery, Science and Technology, Museum of Nature, Museum of Civilization)

Depending on the age of your kids, the Parliament Buildings tour may be a great activity, finished up by walking through the Byward Market and getting a BeaverTail!

What are your plans for the break? Will you be staying around home or heading south?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Art Supplies: More than Paint and Crayons

If you are a crafter, your craft cabinet or box is probably full of "stuff". While separating it all out, you could come up with numerous categories, all of them important. Take just one away and you would be unable to complete a project that is important to you or that a customer is waiting for.

Types of Art Projects

Art supplies are used to complete scrapbooks, watercolor paintings, acrylic art, and sculpting. Parents, schools, and daycare centers utilize art supplies when doing projects with children. Photography is an art, and frames are some of photographers required tools. Framing and mounting pictures helps them to win prizes or to sell framed photographs customers hang in homes and offices.

Art Supplies

Take a look at what an art supplies store sells, broken into several categories. There are numerous types of brushes depending on what they are being used for and the fineness of head they require. Paints are available in watercolors, acrylic, and more. Sketch artists use charcoal, pastels, and graphite. Drafters need compasses, rulers, dividers, and T-squares.

A whole section of art supplies considers the needs of framing sketches and paintings such as mats and mat cutters. Adhesives even get their own section, including regular glue, hot glue guns, and spray glue. A store will frequently carry its own brand, knowing all the while that finicky artists often only trust a particular brand name, so they carry those high-quality products too.

Online Shopping and the Choice to Shop in Person

Professional artists frequently know what they need and how to use it. Their art supplies are purchased online so they do not have to interrupt their working day to go shopping in person.

Amateur artists often prefer to visit a store in person and talk to a knowledgeable clerk about art supplies. That store could be the same one an Internet shopper used, but with branches in multiple locations to satisfy the less confident painter or shutterbug. Touching items and seeing them up close while also speaking with an experienced shopkeeper helps the client determine what she needs to make a project come fully to life.

This is the beauty of selling art supplies in person and over the internet: that same business maintains a steady base of existing customers while building new clientele by offering both methods of shopping, even though an online store is always cheaper to run. The real shop is a consideration to clients.

A physical art supplies store is also a place for browsing, which eventually leads to purchasing. To find quality products, browse the Plaza Art supplies online or in store. The items in this store are as thrilling to a consumer to look at as books are to a heavy reader, yet they might not be ready to buy just yet. With patience and great customer service, physical art shops like Plaza Art build trust and create an atmosphere where consumers are willing to spend.

An art supplies store also links individuals to classes touching on different types and aspects of art. If you want to get more deeply involved in your hobby, find out when the next classes in your chosen discipline are taking place.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Winners List For 2014 Academy Awards

In case you didn't have a chance to watch, or didn't make it to the end (like me), here is a list of the winners from the 2014 Academy Awards

2014 Oscar Winners (86th Academy Awards)

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)

Best Animated Feature
Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)

Best Cinematography
Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)

Best Costume Design
The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)

Best Directing
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

Best Documentary Feature
20 Feet from Stardom (Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers)

Best Documentary Short
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed)

Best Film Editing
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)

Best Foreign Language Film
The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews)

Best Original Score
Gravity (Steven Price)

Best Original Song
Let It Go - Frozen

Best Production Design
The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)

Best Animated Short Film
Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares)

Best Live Action Short Film
Helium (Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson)

Best Sound Editing
Gravity (Glenn Freemantle)

Best Sound Mixing
Gravity (Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro)

Best Visual Effects
Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)

Best Adapted Screenplay
12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)

Best Original Screenplay
Her (Spike Jonze)

Have you seen any of the movies on the list - sadly, I have only seen Frozen, none of the the others.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kanata - My Home Town (Canucks Content Carnival)

Originally settled by Europeans in the 19th centuray, Kanata was mainly agricultural until the 1960's when Bill Teron purchased over 3000 acres of land and started developing it.  Kanata became a city in 1978, 2 years before I was born. My parents moved into the area of Glen Cairn when it was first being built, and lived there for 9 years before moving to another area of Kanata. I grew up and went to school here, and when it was time to move out, we purchased a house in another area of Kanata (hubby also grew up here)