Saturday, May 31, 2014

Displaying Family Memories

Growing up my aunt and uncle had a wall in their home that was dedicated to photo's of their family.  All of the BEST pictures went on that wall in individual frames.  It stretched all the way from the kitchen to the front hall.  I would spent a lot of time looking at the pictures, some of which I had been there when they were taken, others I had never seen before.  Even now, as an adult, I walk down the hall and stop to look at all the great pictures of my cousins that they have there. 

It made me want to have a photo wall in my own home.  When we moved in, we didn't really have any pictures that seemed fitting for a photo wall.  Once we had Mr. J, I started to think about adding one, but it took a lot to convince hubby that it was a good idea. So long, in fact, that Mr. K was turning one when he finally agreed.

We decided on the wall leading up our staircase. Finding picture frames in Canada is pretty easy, and I found two collage frames that I really liked.  The next step was to decide which pictures I should use - I gathered a few baby pictures of each of the boys; some pictures from our Disney World trip and some other pictures of the boys that I love.

I sat down to get it all done, and it took a little longer than I thought....I also miscalculated the size of some of the pictures and needed to trim them down to make them fit.

I did leave a few of the spots open to add more pictures to, however that was 3 years ago and I STILL haven't gotten them finished (I am adding it to my to-do-list for the fall when Mr. K starts school and I am alone all day!)

Do you have a photo wall in your house?


Heroes For CHEO @CHEOhospital



As I have written many times before, my oldest spent the first 10 days of his life in the NICU at CHEO.  He was transferred at 20 hours old.  The transport team was great, the doctors and nurses in the NICU were amazing.  We are so lucky to have such a great facility in our hometown.

When it comes to CHEO, there are many heroes.  The staff that care for the kids; the kids that are undergoing treatments and surgeries - but also the community.

CHEO needs the residents of the community to step up and be a SuperHERO for CHEO.  June 7th and 8th will see the annual telethon happening.  During the telethon, you will see interviews with CHEO staff members, patients (current and former) as well as their families.  You will get to hear stories of how they were diagnosed, what treatment was like and how CHEO has helped them.

You can create your very own Hero and an anonymous crusader for CHEO will donate $10,000 if 1000 heroes are created by telethon time.

I created one for each of our family members and urge you to do the same.
  

CHEO Telethon will air on CTV June 7th and 8th - tune in and have your donation ready. If you can't watch the telethon then you can donate now (follow the link above and there is a donate tab)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Feeling The Loss



My father died almost 19 years ago.  I have been through the grieving process and handled the everyday emotions that go with the loss of a loved one.

I managed through buying a house, planning a wedding and having babies. There were difficult moments, but I got through it.

Today, while visiting an old friend, I had a very unexpected emotional moment.  She had grabbed an old scrapbook she had made while we were in high school and brought it up for me to look at.

I went through a few pages, and then my eyes settled on a date - July 21 1995 and that was it. I started to cry.  I didn't even really get through reading what she had written - just that her best friends father had died.

It has been so long since a moment like this has come.  Most of the time now, I am prepared for them as they will happen on his birthday, Christmas, anniversary of the day he died etc....but this, completely unexpected.

It'a amazing how after all this time, I still feel the loss.  I am good at pushing it to the back, and going through life - but in the end, that feeling never really goes away - it just kind of gets pushed aside for awhile.

It's S'more Season

The time of year has come that many look forward to and dream of during the cold winter months - S'MORE season!

Last year I wrote a post on how to make s'mores - and a reader had commented about a different way that they do it.  Instead of using graham crackers, chocolate squares and marshmallows - they use cookies that have one side covered in chocolate.

They are smaller than traditional graham crackers, which make them a much more manageable size (especially for the little ones) and it's one less thing you need to pick up at the grocery store!

We had our first fire of the season this weekend (we have a propane fire pit) and I had picked up the cookies and marshmallows earlier in the week.

The boys were excited, all day they kept asking about roasting marshmallows.  We had a very busy day, visiting my brother and his kids and then playing with the neighbours grandkids for most of the afternoon and evening (we even got birthday cake from them - delicious!)

After that, the boys needed a bath and hubby went to pick up my mom to come over for a visit.  He bbq'd chicken and pork skewers, and then turned the fire on.  They were super excited to get the marshmallows on the roasting tree we have.

I had the cookies lined up on the plate we placed the roasted marshmallows onto each cookie


 and then added the top cookie and SQUISH!

SQUISH


Delicious!

S'more selfie

Do you love s'mores? I find them rich, but definitely enjoy them the few times a year we make them!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kids in the Kitchen


 Both of mine love to help me bake and cook.  As Mr. J is getting older, I am letting him do more and more.

One of my favourite dinners to make is breakfast for supper.  Scrambled eggs, bacon, croissants.  If I have leftover potatoes on hand, I will make hash browns too.

Mr. J was in charge of the hash browns last time we had breakfast for dinner.  I put 1 tbsp of butter in a frying pan over medium heat, added the potatoes, a little bit of salt and pepper, and used my pampered chef garlic press to add some garlic.

Once everything was in the pan, he was in charge of moving it around so they didn't burn!

Do your kids like to help in the kitchen? Do they have a specific job?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mama's New Bike



Hubby and the boys went shopping on the weekend to get new soccer cleats and a birthday present for a friend of Mr. J's.

When they came home, I went outside to see them and hubby opened the tail gate on the truck. Inside, was a brand new women's bike (purple).  I haven't really ridden since before I had children, and mine was tucked away in the basement for storage.  When we took it out this year, it must have been stuck on something because the casing around the chain, and the brake wiring came apart.

We knew we could have it fixed, but it was going to need a complete tune up as well and we figured it would cost the same as a new bike.  While the boys were out, they saw one on sale for a great price (much CHEAPER than having mine fixed) and hubby bought it.  There were a few to choose, and the boys chose the purple one because it is my favourite colour.

It was such a nice surprise. Of course, I didn't have a helmet anymore so Mr. J and I took a trip to Walmart in the afternoon to buy one.

I am really looking forward to getting out for bike rides this summer. Now that Mr. K knows how to pedal it should make it easy!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What You Need To Know About Secondary Drowning




Water safety is something that I am super paranoid about. I don't want my kids in a pool without me or hubby (or a lifeguard) - not that I don't trust others, but I am just not willing to give that responsibility to someone else.

Last summer I shared a post about Drowning   - something that I did NOT know about at the time was Secondary Drowning.

Have a read through Delighted Mama's story about her son and their experience with it.  It was a big eye opener for me.

Have you heard about secondary drowning before?

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Jennefit

There are some people that come into your life -some for a small period, some for much longer - that you will always remember. Jenn Berrigan is one of those people for me. I met her many, many years ago in high school, and got to know her much better after graduation. We eventually lost touch, but she will never be forgotten. Jenn died in March 2012.

Below, you will find some information from Kevin about how The Jennefit started and a little about the money raised. The next Jennefit will be August 23, 2014 at Greenfields Pub in Barrhaven (Ottawa).

If you have anything to donate in terms of prizes, or cash, please get in touch with me and I will pass your information along to Kevin.


So The Jennefit... I shall explain.

My parents best friend's daughter (Jenn Berrigan), someone I've known since she was born and consider her my little sister, was diagnosed with cervical cancer 3 years ago. A full hysterectomy was needed to attempt to remove the cancer and thus her ability to have a child was compromised. She went to an organization called Fertile Future to preserve her fertility and quickly became an advocate for them. She did a lot of public speaking and became significantly involved with the organization. As of Christmas 2011 it was declared that she had beaten the cancer. By January 15th 2012, she was diagnosed with brain cancer and sadly succumbed to it by March. Jenn was so loved by Fertile Future that they created a fund in her name called The Jenn Berrigan Memorial Fund and from that, $1000 would be awarded to a woman with cancer who preserved their fertility to help with costs. I am now chairman of that fund.

So back to The Jennefit.

I ran a Jennefit back in Oct 2011 to help with her costs of preserving her fertility and for a surrogate mother. I was so blessed to be able to raise approximately $6000 for her and I vowed to run another one. I had planned on the Jennefit 2 to help her even more but she died before that could happen. On her death bed, I made a promise to continue her legacy of helping others and keep her spirit alive so I decided that I WOULD go ahead with The Jennefit 2 and proceeds would go to The Jenn Berrigan Memorial Fund. I ran it in August 2012 and it raised $11000! It was so amazing to help that many women instead of just one!

After this, I vowed this would become a major part of my life. Since then my wife and I were blessed with a beautiful baby boy a year ago and thus I had put off running The Jennefit 3. Well, I can now. And since then I was named Chairman of The Jenn Berrigan Memorial Fund and voted onto the Board of Directors for Fertile Future. An honour higher than anything else I've been bestowed with (other than getting married and having my boy.)

The Jennefit is my event organization and promotional group that generates funds for multiple charities of our choosing. One if it's main beneficiaries is The Jenn Berrigan Memorial Fund and that is a subsidiary of Fertile Future. The three are connected but The Jennefit is not necessarily connected to The JBMF and Fertile Future as it can promote and run events for any charity.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kids and Homework

Kids and homework, school work, homework station


Do you help your kids with their homework? or do you believe that it is THEIR homework, and they need to do it alone?

I am somewhere in the middle.  I certainly won't do his homework for him, however, I am happy to help him with it.  He is 6 yrs old, and just learning to read. If I didn't help him with his homework, it wouldn't get done because he wouldn't know what he was supposed to do.

Being in grade 1, the homework isn't very much at the moment. If he sat down to do it and focused only on the task, it would take less than 5 minutes each night.  However, he will sit down, get up and get a drink; come back, get up to use the washroom. Come back and say he is tired, play with his pencil, change the subject 100 hundred times and the whole process takes up to 45 minutes some nights.

I really like the format his teacher uses.  They have a work book for homework, and a monthly calendar. They are to cut out each day from the calendar, glue it in the workbook and do the task.  This is for the first 3 weeks of the month, and then they hand in the book and she corrects them.  When it is returned the following week, it has the new calendar.

I find it's a great way for him to go at his own pace.  If he wants to move ahead by a few days, he can.  If he wants to take a few days of a break (knowing he will have to work a few days at a time to catch up) he can do that too.

Now that he is reading better, and has a good understanding of what he is reading, I am helping less and less. He normally reads the task, I will clarify it for him and then he does the work.  He likes me to sit with him while he does it, but I have slowly been moving into the kitchen to work on supper while he is working away.

What about you? Do you help your kids with homework? Do you think they have too much or too little?


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Boo Bamboo Skincare Collection (review and giveaway)


Boo Bamboo is a Canadian company featuring skin care, hair care and sun care products for adults and children.  I was recently sent some samples to try out myself, and have been using them for the past several weeks.

          About Boo Bamboo
         Stronger, healthier looking hair with incredible shine after one use.  
         Nature’s fastest growing plant has been harnessed into a collection 
         of hair products that’s guaranteed to make your hair strong and gloriously shiny in            no time flat.

         o Formulas contain Certified Organic bamboo extracts 
         o Bamboo extract is the richest known source of natural silica

         o Rich in minerals and organic proteins essential to strong, shiny hair 

         o Strengthens hair up to 5x and creates angelic shine


         Why Boo Bamboo?

         Rich in mineral and organic proteins, bamboo extract helps strengthen the 

         hair follicle and retain moisture to promote shine. Boo Bamboo products

         improve the strength and condition of your hair, helps eliminate frizz and 

         creates incredible shine.


The products I have been trying out:

Boo Shampoo, Boo Conditioner and Boo Conditioning Treatment

Having used the above hair products for the last 4 weeks, I can say that I have noticed a huge difference in my hair.  I use the shampoo and conditioner every other day, and the conditioning treatment 1x week.  My hair is not dry and brittle, and seems to look and feel much healthier than it did prior to using the Boo Bamboo products.

They don't leave my hair feeling like there is build up on it, and it feels clean and fresh after it has dried.  The products have a natural, earthy smell to them and are paraben and DEA free.  They are formulated for all hair types, and are safe to use on colour treated hair.

Skin Refining Exfoliating Body Wash

I have dry skin, and find that I need to exfoliate (especially my legs) once a week to help keep them smooth and healthy looking.  The Skin Refining Exfoliating Body Wash leaves them feeling great, and isn't too rough.


Another great product! As I mentioned above, I have very dry skin. I find that moisturizers often help immediately, but once they have been absorbed my skin is dry and flaky again. With the Anti-Age face lotion, I am very happy to report that this doesn't happen.  Once the lotion is absorbed into my skin, my face feels great.  It retains the moisture for the majority of the day.  I haven't noticed a difference in terms of anti-aging, however I didn't have much in regards to lines etc before starting to use the product.

Boo Bamboo wants you to try their products! One lucky Tales of Mommyhood reader is going to WIN the same products that I have tested.  Entering is simple - follow the instructions on the form below to get your entries in! This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, and will run from May 21 until June 4th at 11:59pm EST.  Good luck!


Pedalheads Bike Camps For Kids


I have very fond memories of riding my bike as a kid. Whether it was around the neighbourhood, to the corner store, or to a friends house, I used it often.

Mr. J has been riding a 2 wheeler for a year, and had training wheels on for the 2 summers previous.  We passed on his first bike with training wheels to Mr. K this year, but he was having a lot of trouble with pedaling.  He just didn't get how to get them going, and didn't realize that if he stopped, the bike would stop and he would have to start pedaling again.

Pedalheads is an organization for kids of all ages.  Toddlers with ride on toys all the way up to experienced bikers learning to ride the trails.

Mr. K and I were invited to visit a mini-camp and meet some of the instructors involved with Pedalheads.

Dave, Ben, Cale and Kelsey were all great with the kids that were in attendance, and they even managed to get Mr. K pedaling on his own by the end of the hour that we were there (Mr. K probably would have been happy to stay all day if I had let him)

He went from this


to this

In addition to the quick lesson he had, they had a license plate station set up so the kids could make a license plate for their bikes!


Ottawa kids rejoice! Pedalheads® bike camp comes to you!

-- Say good-bye to training wheels forever! --

Ottawa ON, May 15, 2014 -- Pedalheads®, a children’s bike summer camp, opens its doors for Ottawa kids to learn to ride in a fun and safe environment. Local Ottawa children now have the opportunity to learn bike riding skills, like dropping their training wheels, at one of three Ottawa locations: Alta Vista, Nepean and Kanata.

Parents’ of four to six year old children are drawn to the Pedalheads® camps as the kids usually learn to ride on two wheels in just one short week. They offer camps for children ages 2-12 of all different skill levels with a 10 level program.

“Seeing the child’s face when they first ride on two wheels has always been my favourite part of camp”, said Ben Hall – Ontario Manager, “after that, watching the parent’s see their child ride is the next best thing.”

Children can register in morning, afternoon, short 45-minute sessions or even private lessons. The earliest program starts with Riding Rookies, a child and caregiver program, then Trikes and Trainers, a program aimed at three year olds to teach them to steer, stop and pedal. Once the child is four years old they can start the 10 level program starting with Newbees, who still ride with training wheels, and finishing with Crankheads who can do both a front and rear lift with their mountain bikes. Pedalheads® has something for every child to enjoy this summer.

“Pedalheads® aims to teach children how to ride safely on the road, in parks and around the neighbourhood but we also want kids to have an unforgettable experience and meet some great friends along the way”, says David O’Neill – Ottawa Manager.



About Pedalheads®

Traffic and densely populated urban areas make it difficult for parent’s to teach their kids to ride their bikes. Kids need the confidence to ride safely on the road, in parks and around the neighbourhood. The Pedalheads® bike camp experience provides children with the right environment, trained instructors and small groups to prepare children for the road - some as young as three can learn to ride without training wheels upon completion of camp. For more information about the program, go to pedalheads.com.

About Ben Hall
Ben joined the Pedalheads® team the summer of 2010, as a camp supervisor before he became the Ontario Manager. He oversees the growth of Pedalheads Toronto and GTA programs from five camp locations to 12 locations. Before joining Pedalheads®, Ben spent several summers working as a sports coach and camp counselor in the USA, and this was where he taught his first child's bike lesson.

About David O’Neil
Dave, born in Calgary but grew up in Ottawa, after spending a few years traveling, making it as far as India, he returned to Ottawa to study Recreation and Leisure at Algonquin College and is currently pursuing a postgraduate in Therapeutic Recreation. This is Dave’s first year with Atlantis Programs and Pedalheads®. In his free time Dave enjoys taking his two-year-old son to the park, going to the gym, and practicing martial arts. In the summer he loves to play ultimate Frisbee and he’s a loyal Ottawa Senators fan.

For more information visit: www.pedalheads.com You can connect with them on Twitter and Facebook

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lego Party Inspiration

This year, Mr. J has decided he wants a lego party.  I have been hunting down pinterest and through my fellow bloggers sites to find some inspiration.  Along the way I have come across some great ideas.  If you are on the hunt for a Lego inspired cakes, check out all the ones below!

Here is a guest post over at Little Miss Kate about covering lego cake blocks in candy melts


Cool Lego cupcakes from Mom vs. The Boys and a Lego printable pack from Aussie Pumpkin Patch.

Are your kids into Lego? What is their favourite thing to build?





Friday, May 16, 2014

Write A Letter To Your Favourite Disney Character

A little while ago I came across a photo on facebook.  It had a Disney address, and a small blurb that you could write to your favourite character, and you would receive an answer back.

I was intrigued.  I asked Mr. J and Mr. K if they wanted to write to one of their favourites, and Mr. J decided right away that he wanted to write to Pluto . Mr. K, however, did not want to send a letter.  Mr. J set to work, wrote his letter and mailed it off.
write a letter to disney character, disney, pluto,
Mr. J with his letter ready to be mailed
We waited, and waited and didn't hear anything.  I think he eventually forgot about it, until Tuesday.

When he got home from school, waiting for him was a post card from Mickey and the gang.  Once side of the card has the 5 characters with their names, and the other side has a quick typed message from Mickey.  I am unsure what you would receive if you wrote to one of the princesses or another character, but he was satisfied since Pluto was on the card.

If you have a Disney addict in your life, have them write a letter and see if they get a response! If you do, please come back and let me know!

Attn: character name
Walt Disney World Communications
P.O. Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

Don't forget to include a return address for the postcard to find you!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mother's Day Surprises

One of my favourite parts of Mother's Day is the cute things that my boys make for me at school. On Friday the nursery school had a concert and tea for moms (or grandma's, aunts - someone special in the child's life) and a manicure station set up. Mr. K gave me a lovely manicure



Sunday morning, the boys gave me sweet cards they had picked out, and a beautiful purse that Mr. J chose; he also presented me with a "foot" card that he made at school. It had step by step instructions for a foot soak and scrub, and included a small jar with the scrub to use!

(blurry picture, he kept moving)





Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 2

THE “YEAR OF THE DRAGON” CONTINUES WITH THE AWARD WINNING ADVENTURE

DVD Soars on May 27 with Exclusive Codes for 
The School of Dragons Online Game and Movie Money for 
How to Train Your Dragon 2 in Theatres on June 13

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 30, 2014) – The race to save Berk is on when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases on DVD the second part of the award-winning top-rated TV series, DREAMWORKS DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK. Available everywhere May 27, the DVD continues the “Year of the Dragon” which will soar even higher when DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 arrives in theatres this June, along with Dragon game apps, books and other fan experiences releasing throughout the year. The DVD of the 2013 Annie Award winner for Best Animated Television Production for Children is loaded with exciting bonus content for the whole family to enjoy and contains 10 epic adventures and all-new dragons.

Based on the DreamWorks Animation Academy Award® nominated movie How to Train Your Dragon, there’s action at every turn and excitement on every ride in DREAMWORKS DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK PART 2 as Hiccup and his fearless friends embark on new adventures and 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.

If your children are anything like mine, they are big fans of the How To Train Your Dragon franchise.  After the movie, a tv series was made and has since been released on DVD.

Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 2 will be released on DVD May 27th, and you have a chance to WIN a copy for your family.  

Entering is simple, complete the form below (I do moderate entries, so please ensure you have completed them properly for it to count). This is open to both Canada (excluding Quebec) and US and will run until May 28th, 11:59pm EST.

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

selfie of Mr. K and I at Disney - Jan 2011

Bridal Shower Fun

This past weekend I co-hosted (with my mom) a shower for my cousins fiancee.  I did not have a chance to take many pictures, but I did get a few.

We had tea sandwiches, fruits (I made some chocolate dipped strawberries), veggies, cheese tray, pasta salad, deviled eggs, a delicious dip made from hummus, bruschetta and softened goats cheese (you bake it for 20 minutes) so good!
White wine, lemon water and a non-alcoholic punch (orange juice, cranberry juice and sprite)


My mom and I both love to bake and decorate cakes, so we decided that we would each do one. Chocolate for me (very fitting!) and white for her.


I attended a baby shower a few months ago, and the favours given out were bags of popcorn that read "Emma is about to POP!"  I absolutely loved it and knew it would be great for a bridal shower as well.  We used Kernels butter salt popcorn, and the tags read "Jake POPPED the question and Jasmine said YES"


Friday, May 9, 2014

Canon's Mother's Day Surprise

What do you get when you put a bunch of smiling kids in a room with cameras? The perfect Mother's Day gift!  As a mom, there is nothing more precious to me than the beautiful, smiling faces of my children.  I honestly cannot get enough.  When it comes to receiving gifts I absolutely love gifts that are heartfelt and meaningful.


This video is so lovely. It had me SO emotional, I was actually a little surprised at how much so.  To see what they had the kids do for the moms, and how much fun they had.  Look at all the smiling, happy faces in that video!  I was a little teary as I watched the video, but by the time the reveal came to the mom's at the end,  I will admit that I was more than teary.  The kids were so proud of themselves (as they should be - they did such a great job) and so excited to see their moms reactions.  I could definitely relate to the mom's in the video, and I would be completely over the moon if my kids did something like this for me.

Tales of Mommyhood received compensation for this post; all opinions are honest and belong to Tales of Mommyhood. Your opinion/experience may vary

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mothers Day Greetings With Vello

Every year for Mothers Day I buy my mom a card (generally a mushy one) and write her a note telling her how much she means to me and that I appreciate everything she has done for me.  I didn't really think you could get more personal than that, until I heard about Vello.

The Vello motto is simple Create Memories. Together. Vello is a free app that allows you to make a short video clip, and others can add clips to yours as well.  Imagine your mom receiving a Vello that includes clips from ALL of her kids? Such a heartfelt gift to receive.  You can head over to the site and view and example clip.

Using the app is easy. You download it to your device and create an account. Once your account is created, you are able to start recording.  The app walks you through step by step.

Once you are happy with your clip, you can invite others to add to it, or you can send it to someone to view!






Vello is offering up a $25.00 gift card (of the winners choice) each week for the month of May! Want to get in on the contest? All you have to do is download the Vello app and you are automatically entered to win!


I received compensation for this post. As always, opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your experience/opinion may vary

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Summer Camps and a Lovable Labels Giveaway



We started enrolling Mr. J in summer camps the year he turned 4. He did 2 sessions (1 week each) of a 1/2 day camp for 3-5 year olds.  I thought that it would be a good way to get him used to being in a somewhat structured setting (away from mommy) for a few days in a row, since he was starting school that September.

He had so much fun.  The main instructor of his camp had also filled in at another program he had done previously, so he knew her and was really excited when he saw her.  I remember worrying that he wouldn't like it, but as I saw his face when I picked him up, and he told me he wasn't ready to leave I knew we had made the right decision.

He has been going to camps ever since, for 2 weeks during the summer break (we try and do 1 week in July and 1 week in August)
This year, Mr. K gets to attend as well.  He is scheduled for a half day camp in July (since he won't be 4 yet, they don't offer full days) and then another half day camp in August (although he is on a waiting list for a full day camp for that week instead - I am hoping that it will help get him used to being in a structured setting away from me all day, since he will be in full day kindergarten)

When it comes to labeling all their gear before heading off to camp, Lovable Labels has you covered with their camp packs! The camp packs come in over 20 designs/colours and 45 icons to choose from, you are sure to find something that suits your child's personality.

Included in the pack:

  • 15 Sticker Labels
  • 40 Slimline Labels
  • 12 Shoe Labels
  • 72 Press n' Stick Clothing DOTSTM
  • 2 Mini-Metal Tag (two 4" silver ball chain incld)
  • 12 Square Labels
My labels arrived last week, and even though Mr. K isn't scheduled to attend camp until mid-July, I got to work getting all of his gear labelled so that I won't forget. It makes it really easy to grab his back pack from Nursery school now with the tag on it!


The labels are very easy to apply, but durable enough to last through the dishwasher and washing machine. I label all the food containers, sunscreen, water bottle and clothing items that they take with them. Even as rough as my boys are on their clothes and accessories, Lovable Labels stand up to the toughness.

Buy It: Camp Packs are available for purchase on the Lovable Labels website for $44.95 and will be shipped directly to you.

Win It: 
The great people at Lovable Labels are offering up my readers a chance to WIN a camp pack for their child! Entering is simple, fill out the form below and complete the entries as you go (complete the mandatory entry first, and get bonus entries by completing the rest). Contest is open to Canada and will run until May 21st 2014 at 11:59pm EST.

Entry-Form

Thank you to Lovable Labels for providing me with a camp pack in exchange for this review/giveaway. As always, opinions expressed belong to ToM and your opinion/experience may vary

Friday, May 2, 2014

{Book Reviews} Rose and Rose and the Lost Princess


tween books, magic, mystery, witch, rose, holly webb

Rose tells the story of a very young girl living in an orphanage. Rose was left at a church when she was a baby, and never knew her parents.  The book starts off many years later when Rose is chosen to go work as a maid in Mr. Fountain's house - he is an alchemist.

While Rose has always known that she could make things happen that others couldn't, she doesn't truly identify that she has magical powers until she is living in the Fountain household. Mr. Fountain is an alchemist, and with all the magic in the house Rose's powers seem to develop even more.

When it is noticed that children have started to go missing from their homes, streets and parks, Rose and the magician's apprentice devise a plan to catch the kidnapper.

The book held my interest and I think that tween girls would probably really enjoy it. There are a few chapters that aren't scary exactly, but may not settle well with young children.

rose and the lost princess, tween books, holly webb, magic, princess, castle


The next book in the series focuses more on Rose becoming an apprentice as well (and keeping up with her maid duties). She starts to learn more about different types of magic and how to perform different spells.  In this story, a princess goes missing from the castle and Mr. Fountain and his 2 apprentices go to live at the castle while they try and find her and figure out how she went missing.

It was interesting to see how the characters and the relationships between them developed in the 2nd book. I really enjoy Rose as a character, and the magical cat Gus is a favourite as well!

You can learn more about author Holly Webb and her books on her website.  To purchase any of the Rose books (or others) you can find them at Chapters.

Giveaway Ended May 12 - winner below



Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Wonder of Nature

As a parent, one of my favourite things is being witness to my kids as they discover the world we live in. Whether it is watching the rain or snow fall, jumping in puddles or smelling flowers - I love it.

Watching them as they fulfill their curiosity and bend down to investigate the wiggly worms that come out in the rain, or the utter joy they have playing in a pile of dirt. They are happy, and so am I!


Sponsored Video - Misfits Dog Snacks

I grew up with dogs, and have fond memories of each one that we owned. When I was little I loved to play with them and try and teach them tricks. They were always rewarded with treats when they would shake a paw or dance with me. They were so much fun, and we had lots of great pictures of them doing different things (one would sit on our patio table, or ring the door bell with his paw and run away to hide) I am quite sure that they would have loved the new range of dog treats from Misfits.

The snacks come in different textures and flavours. Scruffy bites are offered in Steak & Poutine and Mac & Cheese and have a crunchy texture; Wonky Chomps are drool worthy and endlessly chewy treats which are offered in Surfy Turkey and Cheeseburger flavours; Quirky Jerky is available in Bacon & Peanut Butter or Smoky Bacon flavours and are great for dogs that are looking for a meaty treat.

Everyone sure seems to love seeing pictures and videos of animals doing funny things, and this video above from Misfits is sure to make you smile (it definitely put a smile on my face). After watching the video, create your very own dog dance party! You can change the venue, the song and even the dogs that appear in the video. Once done, you can share it with your friends and family on facebook.

Have a visit to their facebook page to stay up to date on all things Misfits and don't forget to head over their website to enter the great monthly contests that they run.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Misfits dog treats. All opinions expressed are honest and belong to ToM. Your experience and opinion may vary.

How We Save Money - Canuck Content Carnival

Welcome to the May edition of the Canucks Content Carnival.  This month is all about how families save money.  Read below to find out some of the ways our family saves money and then check out the linky at the end of the post to see how other families save too.

There are many ways that individuals can save money - whether it is packing a lunch at home instead of eating out at work; making coffee at home in the morning and bringing it with you in a travel mug instead of stopping on the way to work.  Having friends over for dinner instead of meeting at a restaurant - if going out is more appealing, have dinner at home and meet for dessert.

Being pretty much a one income family, we have had to find different ways to save money and stretch our budget.  The biggest money saver for me is price matching at the grocery store.  Every week I take my list and head to the Real Canadian Super Store. I bring my flyers with me and am able to get the best price available that week.  This helps out a lot, especially when it comes to meat and produce.  Also, knowing your prices is a big one. If you know what the regular prices are for things you buy often, then you will know when a sale is truly a good deal. Often times, stores will show an item on sale, but it may be only slightly cheaper, where a good sale for it may be up to $1.00 (or more) off.

Another way that helps me at the grocery store is using coupons. One thing to remember is that coupons only help if you would buy the product anyways.  For me, I only use coupons for items I buy anyways; I try and wait until the item is on sale or I am able to price match with a good sale and pair the coupon for an even better deal.

When it comes to having money saved, we transfer a sum automatically to RRSP's monthly, and we also contribute 10% from each paycheque to our emergency fund.

We are planning on heading to Disney World in the winter, and to help save for that trip we are using the 52 week savings challenge.  It helps me get into a routine for saving, and since I do it backwards I am saving less towards Christmas where our spending will increase.

How do you save money? Do you have any tips? Don't forget to visit the other bloggers taking part in this months Canuck Content Carnival