Thursday, April 30, 2015

Brightening Up Our Bedroom With

With spring having arrived (kind of) it put me in the mood to freshen things up.  I really hate cleaning, so I don't tend to like "spring cleaning" but I do like to change things around sometimes. Last year we made changes in Kyle's room and this year I decided to focus on our bedroom.

Other than new drapes last year, we haven't done any updating to it since 2006.  There really isn't much we can do (we aren't changing the furniture anytime soon) but I thought that some new bedding would be a great way to create a fresh new look.

I looked in the stores and didn't find anything that would suit the 2 of us, and then ( contacted me, so I checked out what they had to offer.  They have so many different options (not just for bedding, for all areas of the home - so many items to choose from!)

We agreed on 3, and in the end this is what we ended up with: Chic Home Serenity 10 Piece Comforter Set

spring cleaning,, bedroom set, freshen up bedroom,

I was thrilled when the package arrived and threw it all in the washing machine right away.  The set came with a comforter, sheet set, 2 pillow shams and 3 throw pillows, and 2 pillow cases.  Once everything was dry, I was able to make up the bed and I am so happy with how much it brightened up our room!

If you are on the hunt for items to freshen up during spring cleaning or for a great Mothers Day gift, check it out and see what has to offer!

This post is brought to you by All opinions are honest and belong to Tales of Mommyhood. Your opinion/experience may vary

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

DIY Dirt Box From An Old Bed Frame

When Mr. J was 2, hubby bought him a race car bed. He used it until he was 5, and then it was passed on to Mr. K.  He used it until last week, when he got a twin bed.

I listed the bed on a few local buy/sell sites as well as groups on facebook.  I only had interest from 1 person, and they were looking for one that would turn into a twin bed as well (this model is only good for a crib mattress).
little tikes car bed, race car bed, bed frame

At this point, the frame was sitting in my living room, and I had no interest in it staying there for a few weeks.  I decided that we would just have to give it away, and planned on offering it on the Buy Nothing site I am a member of.  I mentioned it to my mom, and she suggested we put it outside for the kids to play with.  I ran it by hubby, and the idea was liked by both of us.

We decided to turn it into a dirt box.  The kids (Mr. K mostly) like to dig in the dirt under our play structure, now they won't be digging up our yard, but able to play in the "dirt box".

Yesterday I headed out and picked up some bags of black earth.

Came home, unloaded them and dragged the bed frame outside.  I leveled off the ground with a few bags of earth, then placed the car frame where we wanted it and filled it with the rest of the bags.
little tikes, car bed, outside, dirt box, sand box, re-use

I grabbed a few of the outdoor toys and placed them on top, then waited for the kids to come home from school.  Mr. J knew it was happening (and he was quite thrilled to be in on a secret his brother didn't know about).
little tikes, car bed, race car, bed frame, sand box, dirt box, outdoor fun, DIY

Mr. K was so happy when he saw it, he kept going on and on about how much he loved it!

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27 Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

If you are a blogger, feel free to list any open giveaways you have on your blog. Make sure to list the prize, end date and country eligibility (CAN/US/WW) any listed without this information will be deleted.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Saving Money At The Grocery Store

I am sure I am not alone when I say that our grocery budget is a big part of our monthly spending.  I have been fortunate enough to discover a few ways to save a little bit of money on these purchases though.

I price match, use coupons and also use rebate apps on my phone to get cash back.  One of the apps I use is Checkout 51.

When my groceries are put away, I take my receipt and upload it to Checkout 51.  Any offers they have that match purchases I have made will put a little bit of money into my account.  Once I have reached $20, I cash out and a cheque is mailed to my door.

It is totally legit, and I have cashed out a few times.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

West Ottawa Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free!

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Mr. K at one of our favourite restaurants after his nursery school graduation. Unfortunately,
they do not have a kids eat free option
Let's face it - we don't always want to cook.  Sure, you can order in but sometimes it's nice to just get out of the house and let someone else take care of the prep work AND the clean up!  It's also really nice if you can find a restaurant where kids eat free (cause really, eating out is expensive enough, having to pay for the kids just adds to the bill).

Eiffel Tower Cookies and Bridal Shower Fun

My mom and I hosted a bridal shower for my cousin on the weekend.  Her fiance proposed while they were visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris last summer, and I wanted to incorporate that into the shower some how.

We decided to do a brunch instead of a traditional afternoon shower. We served croissants, egg cups (eggs mixed with veggies and baked in a muffin tin), fruit and yogurt as well as a baked egg ring (eggs, cream cheese, peppers all scrambled together and then placed on top of pillsbury crescent roll triangles, then baked)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tips For Eating At Restaurants With Young Kids

Like many, my hubby and I enjoy eating at restaurants every now and then.  We also like to actually ENJOY our meals, and cranky kids or screaming babies take away the enjoyment.  Many parents get stressed out when thinking of taking their family to a restaurant - but I assure you, it IS possible to have a great family meal out!  We have been going to restaurants since the kids were young.  Here are my tips to help things go smoothly! (If you are in Ottawa, check out my list of restaurants where kids eat free!)

April 20 Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

If you are a blogger, feel free to list any open giveaways you have on your blog. Make sure to list the prize, end date and country eligibility (CAN/US/WW) any listed without this information will be deleted.

Friday, April 17, 2015

S'more Time! Round Up of S'more Variations

Every year at this time I start looking forward to S'mores.  We have a propane fire pit on our deck; we enjoy roasting marshmallows most weekends, and I try and always have the items on hand to make S'mores.  If you have never made them before, check out my post on how to make a perfect s'more.

I asked some of my fellow bloggers about their favourite way to enjoy S'mores and was able to come up with some great recipes for a round up!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Learning From Our Kids

I love being a mother.  As challenging as it can be sometimes (or, a lot of the time) there is so much fun and joy that my kids bring to me.  They have taught me a lot about myself, and a lot about others as well.

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13 Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

If you are a blogger, feel free to list any open giveaways you have on your blog. Make sure to list the prize, end date and country eligibility (CAN/US/WW) any listed without this information will be deleted.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Funday With The Harlem Globetrotters!

Today was the big day - The Harlem Globetrotters vs. The Washington Generals. We didn't tell the kids that we were going until this morning.  We didn't tell them they would be ON the court with the chance to meet some of the players, learn some tricks and get autographs until we were leaving the house!

Mr. J saw them with his dad last year and had a jersey, so we told Mr. K that we would get him a jersey today.  Front and center when you walk in the door the merchandise stand is set up.

We bought the jersey and then made our way into the arena area.  Found our seats (which were really good - I bought them in October when groupon had a 50% sale).  We then made our way to the court to make use of our Magic Passes (thanks to Canadian Tire Center staff for providing us with them!)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cake Message FAIL

I am sure you have seen the cake message fails on the web before (I have seen a few different ones, and I always have a good laugh - some of them I shake my head at, wondering HOW the decorator could possibly think that is the message the customer wants conveyed)

Well, in preparation for the bridal shower my mom and I were hosting I was writing on the cake.  I wanted to write "Congratulations Kelly".  I wanted "Kelly" to kind of be centered under "congratulations" so I was worrying about placement more than anything.

When I was finished writing, I called my mom over so she could finish the decorating.  As she walked over, I realized something wasn't quite right....

spelling mistake on cake, cake message fail, bridal shower cake, congratulations

My mom and I had a good laugh over it, and then scraped it off and started again.  I was so happy that I caught the error - nothing like presenting a TEACHER with a mistake like that!

Here is the finished product:

Friday, April 10, 2015

It's "Sprinter" Time In Ottawa

Mother Nature doesn't seem to know what she wants to do.  It's SUPPOSED to be Spring time, but we have been having more Winter like weather - I have started calling it "Sprinter".  The mornings are chilly, snow has been falling and our sun seems to have gone missing.

Good Friday was such a beautiful day and then all of a sudden we are back to cold temperatures and snow falling.  Waking up to see snow is NOT what I want right now.

The kids have been antsy lately, and since they already had their bikes out from our first ride, Mr. K decided he was riding anyways - all decked out in his winter gear

I love all the seasons, but I really dislike the transition from Winter to Spring.  It's wet, dirty and really difficult to decide what to wear (you end up over dressed and warm, or under dressed and cold).

Monopoly Fun

Mr. J and I love to play Monopoly.  We will often have a game running, and leave it for a few days and then go back and continue when we have some time.  When we first started playing it, years had gone by since I had played last and I needed to look over the rules.   I was shocked to see that some of the "rules" we played with growing up were not actually part of the game.

Growing up, we played that if you landed on GO you doubled your money (so $400 instead of $200). We also put all tax money or money owed through Community Chest and Chance cards into the middle of the board, and if we landed on Free Parking you won the money.

Playing with Mr. J today and he had a super lucky streak.   He won FREE PARKING at least 7 times. My streak? Landing in Jail.

Did you play with different rules when playing Monopoly? I would love to hear some of your variations!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Breakfast In Bed

Mr. K was up early on Good Friday, but hubby and I were not ready to get out of bed.  I brought him into bed with us to cuddle for a little while, but he didn't want to settle.  He kept going back and forth from lying in bed with us to playing in his room.  He wanted to get up, but I kept telling him it wasn't "wakey time" yet.  He told me that the birds were awake, so it was time for us.

Mr. J appeared beside the bed and quietly told Mr. K to come with him.  Off they went downstairs.  I thought perhaps they were getting markers to colour on their doors (that's another post).  A few minutes later I hear them walking down the hall, and they yelled for me to wake up.  They then appeared at the end of my bed saying "surprise" they had made me breakfast, and brought it to me in bed.

They had toasted and buttered a sesame bagel, added a chocolate covered granola bar, a package of crackers and a single cookie.

They were so sweet, and so excited to be bringing it to me.  Mr. J said that I always make them breakfast, and lunches/snacks for school so he wanted to do something just as nice for me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

(not so) Wordless Wednesday: Girl Guide Cookies

I love this time of year! Girl Guide cookies are a favourite treat of mine - and this is the time they are for sale!  Every year I buy a few boxes, and I am almost embarrassed to admit how fast they disappear.  This year we decided to buy a case (which has 12 boxes).  I get them from a friend that has 2 daughters selling them, but then have another friend/neighbour that has a daughter selling them as well (she is younger though, and we already had our "supplier" when she started) - I always make sure to buy a box when she comes to the door! So this year, we have 13 boxes of girl guide cookies.  I kept 3 in the cupboard, and the rest went directly to the freezer.  The boys don't know they are there, so I am hopeful they will last quite a while!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Time Fun

This winter seemed to last forever.  It was cold, and we were cooped up indoors much more than I would have liked.  There was more tv time and video games than we would normally allow, and we just wanted Spring to arrive.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Monday Giveaway Linky

Easter has come and gone, spring has sprung (supposedly) and I saw my first Robin of the season yesterday!  I hope you all had a lovely Easter!

If you are a blogger, feel free to list any open giveaways you have on your blog. Make sure to list the prize, end date and country eligibility (CAN/US/WW) any listed without this information will be deleted.

Lampe Berger Helps Freshen Your Home

Every now and then I come into the house and notice an off smell.  Sometimes it is easily tracked (most often I have forgotten to put the kitchen scraps into the green bin kept in our garage) but sometimes the source is never found.  In the past I have reached for an air freshener that I have picked up while doing groceries, and while it helps to cover the smell, it doesn't actually remove it.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

Easter is here.  While we are Catholic and celebrate that Christ has risen, we also take part in the Easter Bunny tradition (although he almost forgot our house last night!)

I picked up all the supplies needed at the grocery store Saturday morning.  I left it in the Jeep so the kids wouldn't come across any of it.

Mr. J was not feeling great and was in bed quite early, but Mr. K was like an energizer bunny.  He just wouldn't stop.  I found Season 4 of Downton Abbey on Netflix to watch while I waited for the sounds coming from Mr. K's room to stop.  Finally, around 845 I realized there was no more noise.  I continued watching Downton Abbey and as I was on my way to bed realized the bunny was needed.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Simple Chocolate Nests

chocolate, easter, eggs, nests, desert, recipe

When holidays arrive, I like to make themed treats with/for the kids.  However, I find myself often ending up putting it off, and then the time arrives and nothing is made.  I went to the grocery store this morning to pick up stuff for their Easter baskets and egg hunt in the morning (side note - the BEST time to go to the grocery store is when they first open.  They opened at 6am today - I arrived at 625 and only saw 2 other shoppers the entire time I was in the store).

Friday, April 3, 2015

Planting Seeds and Growing Food

I love vegetables. I love fresh vegetables even more, and I really dislike paying high prices for them. Last year I decided that I was going to grow some at home.  I thought it would be fun for the kids to take part in the process, and also would provide us with some fresh, healthy food (that didn't have to travel to get to us, and wasn't sprayed with things I don't know about). I don't think we really saved any money, but I really liked that it was OURS!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Saving Money and Conserving Energy With saveONenergy

Over the last few years, we have started to increase our energy saving efforts at home.  When we have replaced appliances, we have purchased energy star products.  We have had all of our windows and doors replaced with energy efficient units as well.  We are teaching the kids to turn lights off when they aren't needed, and we try and use natural light as much as possible.


There are many ways that you can help to conserve energy in your home, and many are DIY that don't cost much money
  • Replace inefficient light bulbs with LEDs (using 90% less power and lasting 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs) or CFLs (they use 75% less electricity and last 10 times longer than incandescent) - we have switched all of our bulbs
  • Dry clothing outside using a drying rack or clothesline instead of using your dryer (as an added bonus, sunlight is a great stain remover - a trick I learned when Mr. K was a baby and I had many poop stained baby clothes and cloth diapers) - I am trying to get into this habit in the summer, and use the heat and wind to dry many of our items
  • Add motion sensors or automatic timers for lights to go on and off when someone enters the room. This can eliminate the need for lights to be on all the time, and also helps when people forget to turn lights off as they leave a room - this is something we haven't done. I think it will be next on the list
  • Ceiling Fan installing Energy Star ceiling fans in your house can help to keep cool in the hot/humid months and they are 50% more energy efficient than older light/fan combinations. We have a ceiling fan over our stairs, and we find a huge difference when we actually remember to use it
saveOnenergy wants to help YOU save money and conserve energy in your home.  From March 27th until April 26 2015 the Spring Coupon Event will be available in-store at participating retailers, or by downloading coupons online from saveONenergy.

This post is brought to you by saveONenergy. Tales of Mommyhood received compensation for this post.  All opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your opinion/experience may vary.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Super Cute Easter Bunny Craft

Mr. J has been sick since Saturday, and stayed home from school Monday and Tuesday.  He was fairly content to lie on the couch and watch movies on Monday, Tuesday he had more energy though. When we got home from the doctor, he finished up the homework he didn't get done on the weekend, and then he wanted to get creative.

He grabbed a paper bag from the cupboard, and got to work with crayons and markers.  He was making an Easter Bunny Puppet!

He drew the outline of a bunny on one side of the bag, coloured it in and then added ears and a nose. He asked me to add a bow tie.

If you wanted to change it up, you could use construction paper cut outs and glue them on instead of colouring.

Happy Easter!