Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tips For Pumpkin Carving With Kids

Halloween is a favourite for me.  I love picking out pumpkins, deciding on a design, and then getting everything together to gut and carve the pumpkin.  Seeing the kids on dressed up on Halloween night always makes me happy to (young or old - sometimes the teenagers put some awesome thought and time into their costumes).

Since having kids, I have found that pumpkin carving can't be spur of the moment anymore.  It needs to be well planned out.

Here are my tips:

  • buy a book of designs (or search for templates online). Make sure they look at ALL available before making their decision.  Nothing like getting it carved and then finding a different one they like better.  If they are young, try and steer them away from any designs that have are too complicated
  • make sure the surface of your pumpkin is large enough for the design you/they choose (this is important, if you have a small design, you don't want it on a huge pumpkin, same with a large design on a small pumpkin)
  • have all your carving tools at hand (the kits they sell are GREAT for this)
  • have a large bowl, newspaper, yard or food waste bag,  paper towels and a pencil close 
  • lay out the newspapers on your surface area
  • place pumpkin on top of newspaper
  • carve the top (or you could do the bottom and just fit the pumpkin over top your candle/light)
  • gut the insides - place the seeds into the bowl if you want to roast them and the rest of the guts into your yard/food waste bag (it can go with your green bin on garbage/recycle day)
  • once your pumpkin is gutted, wipe of the outside and make sure it is completely dry
  • tape your stencil onto the surface area you want to carve
  • trace around the areas to carve (or you can use the small poke tool that comes with the kits)
  • use a small pumpkin carving knife to cut out your areas 
If your kids are really little, they may do best with having 2 different sessions - one to gut the pumpkin, and one to carve.  My oldest started doing his own carving with the kits when he was 6, I was just there to help out if needed, and make sure he was using it safely.  Mr. J has never really liked the feel of the insides, so I always do the gutting.  Mr. K LOVES to help with it though.

The most important thing is to have fun. It's ok if they don't turn out exactly like the stencil - as long as they are happy.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Winter Driving Safety Tip

This may seem like a no-brainer, but based on all the cars I see on the road, apparently it's not.  So, here is a tip for you:

Driving with your windshield frosted up and only clearing a spot where you can see straight ahead is NOT safe. Not at all.  Depending on where you live, you will also receive a fine from the police if they see it.  Not sure what I am talking about? See the photo below

The same goes for snow. If your vehicle is covered in snow or ice, it needs to be removed before driving.   The snow piled on top of your car? Yep, that too. My windshield has been hit from chunks of ice/snow flying off the vehicle in front of me on the highway. Caught me off guard and startled me.

With winter on it's way and vehicles being frosted over in the mornings already, this is my reminder to all of you.  It may mean you have to leave the house a few minutes earlier to have time to clean it off, or maybe you could get an auto-start and have your vehicle started and warming up before you even leave your front door.  Whatever you choose, make sure to plan ahead so you can start your commute safely. It's not just about you, but others drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26th Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

Tales of Mommyhood, giveaways, linky, monday madness, contests, win, giveaway linky
The last Monday in October, are you ready for Halloween?  We have our pumpkins purchased, but we need to carve them.  I think I will spend some time this week gutting them, and the boys can carve their designs after school

Friday, October 23, 2015

Edward Scissorhands 25th Anniversary

I have been a fan of Johnny Depp since he played on 21 Jump Street all those years ago.  I have seen most of his movies and Edward Scissorhands just happens to be one of those films.  

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the movie and to celebrate they have released a special edition gift set.  This was released on October 13th and is now available for purchase in stores.

I am excited to sit down with my kids and watch this film; I remember watching it with my dad, and it was one that he really enjoyed.  That makes it even more special for me to create similar memories with my kids.

Tales of Mommyhood received a copy of the film mentioned above in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest and belong to ToM; your opinion/experience may vary.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Holiday Entertaining Help With Sarah Baeumler and OxiClean #Giveaway

prize pack includes all items shown (except table) ARV $175.00
Canadian Thanksgiving may have past already, but that doesn't mean that we stop being thankful for what we have.  I try and remember why we are thankful throughout the rest of the year as well.  We like to entertain at all times of the year and often have friends over for dinner. Things can sometimes get messy, and Oxi-Clean has saved my table cloth more than once in the past.  Now, it can help with the dishes also!

Sarah Baeumler from HGTV has some fantastic tips for you - keep reading to find out!

Design Tips:
• Simplicity is key: When it comes to decorating, less is more! Over decorating is time-consuming and leaves your home feeling cluttered. A simple look will brighten your space and leave more room for mingling. 
• Seasonal Florals: Fresh flowers on the dining table are a must, though one large centerpiece isn’t always the best choice when entertaining guests. Dial up the holiday spirit and leave more space on the table for turkey using smaller, in-season floral arrangements with fruit and vegetable accents to decorate your table instead of an oversized arrangement. 
• Warm welcome: Start impressing your guests before they even walk in the door! Take your holiday colour scheme outdoors and set a welcoming mood with lavish greenery adorned with seasonal décor such as leaves and pine cones. 
• Switch up your colours: Branch out from your traditional Thanksgiving colours and choose a colour palette reflective of your style. Using all white or different shades of white can help to keep your look clean and crisp. Or, add a festive shimmer with copper, silver or gold accents.
 • Overnight guests: Soft white linens and duvets for your guests will make them feel like they’re staying at a luxurious hotel. Keep a basket with white towels and toiletry items they might have forgotten, like toothbrushes and toothpaste, for an added touch of elegance.

Prep & Clean-up Tips
• Outdoor décor: To revive last year’s décor and keep it looking new, use OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover Powder. It’s the perfect solution to remove dirt, dust and grime from decorations that were sitting in storage or outside throughout the fall. 
• Dress to impress: Don’t shy away from wearing your favourite party dress for fear of spills and stains. OxiClean™ Liquid Laundry Detergent keep your clothes looking vivid and bright and remove any dried-on stains the first time. 
• Attack spills and stains: There’s always a risk of spills and stains at any social gathering. Be prepared for a spill to happen by mixing OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover Powder and warm water in a squeezable bottle before the party starts but make sure not to seal the bottle and to discard the mixture afterwards. 
• Get the kids involved: Having the kids set and clear the table gives adults some time well-deserved down time. Don’t stress about their scraping and rinsing skills, OxiClean™ Extreme Power Crystals™ Dishwasher Detergent and Triple Action Dishwasher Booster will remove the toughest stuck on foods and stains to keep your dish and glassware sparkling clean and free of debris – no pre-rinsing or pre-washing necessary! 
• Linens and Towels: To keep white linens brilliantly white and looking their best for your guests, use OxiClean™ White Revive™ to get tough stains out the first time. To keep colourful towels vivid and bright wash-after-wash, use OxiClean™ Liquid Laundry Detergent.

I had no idea OxiClean now had a lineup of products for the dishwasher! The OxiClean™ Triple Action Dishwasher Booster supercharges your detergent to remove cloudy film, food particles, spots and streaks for a crystal clean in every wash.

They also have dishwasher tabs available to clean your dishes. The high-efficiency formula in concentrated crystal form contains oxygen and high performance enzymes to eliminate the toughest stains, stuck-on foods, cloudy film and odours for clean and sparkling clear dishes.
Product Benefits
· Breaks up and helps to eliminate baked and stuck-on food on dishes, silverware and pots
· Dissolves cloudy film on spots and glasses that some detergents leave behind
· Removes odours as it cleans leaving your dishwasher smelling fresh
· No more pre-washing or re-washing necessary
Sarah and OxiClean want to help you prep for this holiday season and are offering Tales of Mommyhood readers the chance to win a Holiday Entertaining Prize Pack filled with OxiClean products, valued at $175.00.  This giveaway is only open to Canadian residents that are 18+. Complete the giveaway tools form below to enter. This will run from October 22, 2015 until 1159pm EST November 1st, 2015.


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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Are you a Star Wars fan? If you are, then you will want to check out the official Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer below.  
I have enjoyed the movies since I was a little girl.  I was slightly disappointed in the 1, 2 and 3 (while the effects were pretty great and much more modern than the movies I grew up on, I found the acting to be less than wonderful and it was hard to go from what I watched, to seeing the first ones). I am hoping that the next 3 are better.

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19th Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

Tales of Mommyhood, giveaways, linky, monday madness, contests, win, giveaway linky
It had to happen eventually, we turned on our heat last week.  The house temperature got down to 15 degrees (59 for those of you that go by Fahrenheit).  The last 2 weekends we took time getting the outside stuff put away and the garage cleaned out.  We still need to turn the water off and rake the leaves (although not even half have fallen yet) - but then we will be ready for winter to hit.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

5 Ways To Use Your Kids Halloween Candy

If your family celebrates Halloween, then you are sure to know the feeling of being overwhelmed by all the candy, chips and chocolate coming in your front door on Halloween night.  I don't mind my kids eating some of it, but they get SO SO much,that we do try and ration it out a little bit.  I often wondered what others did with it, so I asked some of my fellow bloggers and thought I would share with you, in case you are looking for ideas.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

5 Tips For Staying Organized

I am NOT an organized person - at all.  Clutter and chaos surrounds me on a daily basis, and I don't really "see" it (does anyone else feel that way?)

I WANT to have a clean, clutter free home, but it just doesn't seem to happen.  I will get everything done and organized, and then start slacking off - it's the STAYING organized I have trouble with.

Here are my 5 tips to help STAY organized:

1)       Make sure everything has it's own place

  • this is a big one for me - I often just don't know where to PUT things, so they get left lying around
2)       Get into a habit
  • make it a habit to put your coat in the PROPER spot everytime you come in the house, same with your purse, and mail and any packages you have.  Don't move to something else until everything that came in the house is put away
3)       Stop bringing STUFF home
  • this is a hard one for me.  It's not me bringing the "stuff" it's most often the kids.  We don't have room for random finds and crap to hang around.  I tend to "forget" about a lot of stuff in the car and then when they aren't around it goes into recycle (who needs plastic lids?) 
4)       Get some labels
  • buy some labels and label drawers, cupboard shelves etc so that everyone knows where things go.  If hubby emptys the dishwasher on fridays, and you do it on tuesdays and the kids do the rest, at least everyone knows where to put things properly. Same for groceries (if you want your pantry organized, have a spot for crackers, pasta, cookies, rice, condiments etc)
5)       Set the timer
  • have a timer set for 15 minutes (at the same time everyday if you can) and hit your hot spots during this time.  Grab everything that doesn't belong and put it back.  If you have everyone take part, you can probably tackle a lot more than you think
Now I need to start implementing these in my own home.  I started reading a book by Marie Kondo, and it makes sense what she says about NOT going room to room, but by grouping things together.  I just couldn't get into it though.  Do you have any tips for me?

Friday, October 16, 2015

8 Ways To Help When A Child Is Hospitalized

This is an older post that was originally published on the CHEO Moms and Dads blog.  I decided to post it here for my readers as most of you probably don't even know what CHEO is (it is our local Children's Hospital) so probably have not read it before.  While I have this for when kids are in hospital, they really could be tips for when any family member is.

When Mr. J was in the NICU, I didn't have a lot of contact with my friends. I think they maybe didn't know what to do or say, so they just kind of stayed away. I wasn't upset - I can understand, it's hard and they have their own lives.  When I did talk to people, they often asked what they could do to help, but I didn't have an answer.

To be honest, at the time I didn't really know how to respond when people DID ask what we needed. It would have been much better for someone to have just DONE something, or offered to do something specific.

If you know someone that has a child in hospital - here are a few tips on how you can help:

  1. child care (look after other children that they may have - and make it FUN! the kids need help too)
  2. making meals (they still need to eat, but may not have time to make something healthy or the desire to cook, being able to heat something quick will help them a great deal). Snacks are a great option as well (muffins, protein bars)
  3. household chores - unfortunately chores still need to be done even when you are not home most of the time.  Vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom and laundry.  Shoveling snow, raking leaves and cutting grass.  Our neighbour cut our grass when Mr. J was at CHEO and it really helped.  Hubby kept thinking about the yard and it needing to be done, but was exhausted (mentally and physically)and came home from work one day all set to cut the grass, only to find out it had been taken care of.  It was something that we both really appreciated.
  4. make a hospital package (a tote filled with snacks, drinks, magazines, books and GC's to the hospital restaurants/coffee shops)
  5. be company for them - if they need someone to sit with for a half hour OR if they want to grab a shower but don't want their child alone, you could sit in the room for them.
  6. just being there. Call, email, text - whatever you can...while they may not be able to respond immediately, knowing you are thinking about them will help to lift their spirits. Having a child in the hospital can be pretty isolating. 
  7. take care of pets. Walking, feeding, playing with any of their animals will probably be a big help as well.
  8. offer a drive. I had delivery complications and was not comfortable driving. I had a few family members and a friend give me lifts into the hospital (hubby had to work since we still had bills that needed to be paid) and it was so wonderful.  They would drive me in and then read a book while I was with Mr. J. It did, and still does, mean the world to me
Don't be offended if they don't take you up on any of your offers. It is very difficult to accept help sometimes, but the offer itself will be extremely appreciated

Do you have any other tips?

More posts that might interest you:

CHEO NICU winter driving parenting is hard parents death

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cuddle Time With Mr. K

Last week when I was putting Mr. K to bed, he asked me to stay longer than I normally would. Generally he gets one story, and I lie down with him for a song or two and then say goodnight.  I don't normally stay longer than that, even when he asks me too.  He is such an early riser that I really need him to sleep.

This particular night, I decided to stay for some cuddles.  His music was playing softly, the room was dark and it was just him and I.

He wrapped his little hands around my arm, pulled me over closer and closed his eyes to drift off to sleep.  I stared at him for a few minutes and it brought back memories of late night feedings when he was a baby.

I would sit nursing him, rocking in the glider chair in his nursery.  The house was quiet and still.  I would sing softly to him, and just delight in the time I had with him. Alone. Just the two of us.  My mind not racing with a million things I had to get done; no 3 year old pulling on my arm to get my attention.  Not watching tv.  Just enjoying the amazing connection that he and I had.

I always loved that night time feeding with my oldest as well, but I had lots of time to connect one on one with him.  With Mr. K, that time wasn't always there since Mr. J was around and home with me as well.  The night time feedings were so peaceful.

This moment reminded me of those times. It also reminded me of the not so peaceful times when I really just wished to be sleeping and not awake with a baby for the 5th time in 2 hours....Those times happened too

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mr. K Hockey Fan

Mr. K and I attended the #CTHockeyTruck event near us last week and took part in the mini-challenges they had for us.  The first one was to see how long it takes to put on hockey equipment. It took him 1 minute 46 seconds (with a little help from mommy).  Here he is, all decked out in Sens gear!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Clean Sink

So, my post for today isn't really anything special. I spend lots of time in my kitchen, and it is often cluttered with dirty dishes waiting to be put into the dishwasher.  Apparently I am the only one of the 4 of us that knows where to put the dishes.

Anyways, last weekend I was cleaning up in the kitchen and the sink was empty - and I realized how dirty the sink was.  I grabbed my Norwex enviro cloth and cleaning paste and two minutes later my sink was clean.  There are scratches on it, and a couple of stains I haven't been able to get out, but it was shiny....and clean....and empty.  It made me smile :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Thanksgiving Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

Tales of Mommyhood, giveaways, linky, monday madness, contests, win, giveaway linky
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you have (or will later today) enjoyed some time with your family and had a chance to give thanks for all you have.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Here in Canada, Monday October 12th is Thanksgiving Day.  Most people tend to celebrate it with their Thanksgiving meal on the Sunday, however, so I am wishing you all a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving today.

Today, I am asking you what you are thankful for? 

Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Are You A Volunteer?

When I was in 7th grade, I volunteered at a retirement home. I served dinner to the residents twice a week.  It started out as community service hours for religion class, but when my 10 hours were up I stayed with it for another 6 months or so.  I eventually stopped, but I look back on that time fondly.

Now, I try and volunteer at the boys school as much as possible. I am a member of the school council and help out with whatever events I can. I also try to make it into their classes whenever possible. Last year was wonderful as I was able to help out in Mr. J's class weekly.  Even though I rarely saw him, I loved the time I spent with his classmates.

At this point, the school is the only place that I volunteer, but I do hope to change that in the future.  I would like to help out at the local food cupboard.

Do you volunteer your time or services in your community? I would love to hear how!

Friday, October 9, 2015

15 Halloween Activities In Ottawa

I am a big Halloween fan. I love to see all the kiddies dressed in their costumes going door to door. I also love the spooky fun that can precede Halloween.
I have put together a list of Halloween Activities in the Ottawa area. Some are for families and some are geared for a little bit older.  Check the links for specifics including dates/times

  1. Saunders Farm
    • Night time is NOT for little ones. Everything is geared for teens and older.
    • Daytime is great for families.  The haunted hayride might be a bit spooky for your child (all kids are different) and the barn of terror is not recommended for kids (day or night). However, the mazes, jumping pillows and puppet/stage shows are geared for all ages
  2. Upper Canada Village - Pumpkinferno is an event that runs throughout October.  
  3. Pumpkin Picking - find a pumpkin patch and pick your pumpkin! We like Abby Hill farms on Prince of Whales/Bankfield drive. It's not a "patch" but there are many pumpkins to choose from, as well as a market with fresh produce, petting farm, hay jump, train ride and pony rides. There are many other places to choose from as well
  4. Cannamore Orchard also has a haunted hayride and spooky activities
  5. The City of Ottawa Museums (Billings Estate Museum, Cumberland Village Heritage Museum and Pinheys Point) all have Halloween activities at different times in October
  6. The Children's Museum has spooky crafts available daily until November 1st
  7. A Zombie Adventure at the Diefenbunker. Ages 12+
  8. Take part in one of the many Haunted Walks of Ottawa
  9. The Mayors Halloween Party - October 24th 
  10. Nature Nocturne at the Museum of Nature - 19+ October 30th
  11. Halloween theme at the Carp Farmers Market October 31st
  12. Many of the local malls offer free indoor trick or treating for young ones on Halloween day
  13. Haunted Circus at Rideau Hall 5-8pm October 31st
  14. Mansion Mayhem at Goulbourn Museum - age 6-10
  15. Plan your own party!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Are You The Parent You Thought You Would Be?

Are you the parent you always that you would be? I have to admit that I am not.  Definitely not. Growing up I had all these images in my head about what life would be like with kids, and I can tell you that my life is definitely NOT what I had dreamed about.  I was at the beginning. Then things changed.

Not to say I don't love it, because I do. It's just not the way I always pictured it would be.  I figured I would be a SAHM, which  I am. I imagined my house would be immaculate, and my kids would be perfect little angels since I had so much time to spend with them and do fun things. All sorts of seasonal crafts, nature walks, almost zero television.

Well, I can tell you that is NOT how it turned out.  It was for the first little while, when I only had one child.  I had all the patience in the world.  I think I raised my voice at Mr. J twice before I got pregnant with Mr. K - and both times it was because he was doing something dangerous.

Once I was pregnant and those hormones started to rush into my body, almost all my patience was gone.  I would be short with him for small things, and I was so tired that I didn't have the energy to do those seasonal crafts from my childhood dreams.

I would lie on the floor and close my eyes while he drove cars over me; of course, once Mr. K came into the picture things were even more difficult because I now had a tiny little being depending on me for everything.

Things got better, my patience came back (a little bit, it's still somewhat missing though).  I went through a phase where I yelled....a lot, and I am not proud of it.  It is what it is though and I have tried to move on from that point.

In terms of having an immaculate house with hardly any television....yeah, that didn't happen either. You would think with the kids at school I would be able to keep on top of it, but that doesn't happen. There is always something to be done, somewhere to go or something that needs to be baked.... that is probably one of the only parts of my original dream that has actually come to life - I love to bake, and do it a few times a week....sometimes I will bake a few items in a day even.

The TV - well, sometimes, I just need some time to get stuff done that does not involve help - and while the kids love to play with lego, draw pictures or play outside, the TV can often suck them in. Kind of like the computer and internet are able to suck me in....

All that to say that I am not the mom I always thought I would be; sometimes I wish things were different, but it just isn't who I am anymore.  I enjoy playing on the floor with the kids for a little while, but then I get my mind wanders to other things that need to get done and I am ready to move onto something else - most likely in the kitchen.  I don't mind playing board games for a bit, but after an hour or so I am ready to get up and move around.

My life may not be the how I dreamed it would be at 12 years old - and that's ok.  I am not the same person I was at 12 either.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Memories of Childhood

It's funny how something small can transport you back to your childhood so quickly.  While shopping with my mom the other day, I cam across a this bag in the candy section.  It immediately took me back to when I was a little girl.

Back then they didn't come in a package like this, but in a roll.  My grandmother always had a roll in her purse.  I loved them, and knew that I would always find a few when I was with her.  Her purse always smelled like them, and even now, at 35 years old I think of her when I smell them.

Is there a smell that takes you back?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Canadian Tire Wants You To Celebrate The Ottawa Senators Home Opener #CTHockeyTruck #GoSensGo #TMLTalk

How excited are you about the Ottawa Senators Home Opener this Sunday? Our family is always happy to settle in and watch our Sens play and this weekend is no different!  Canadian Tire is celebrating the home opener ALL weekend!

They have events featuring the #CTHockeyTruck all weekend long.  You can find out the information regarding the locations and times below, but FIRST - how would you like to WIN a pair of tickets to Sunday nights Ottawa Senators home opener?

It's simple, just RT the tweet below to be entered for your chance to win! You can find full rules and regulations here. This contest ends at 9am October 7th, 2015.

Now to the events! The Canadian Tire Hockey Truck will be in various places around the city to help promote the Home Opener!

Friday, October 9th, 2015
Mobile Truck Event - Autographs from Senators Alumni
Where: Sparks Street (Between Bank and O'Connor)
When: 10:00am - 2:00pm

Saturday, October 10, 2015
Bell Sensplex
Where: 1565 Maple Grove Rd, Kanata ON K2V 1A3
When: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Sparty Appearance from 11:30am - 12:30pm

Sunday October 11th 2015
Canadian Tire Store
Where: 8181 Campeau Drive Kanata ON K2T 1B7
When: 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Senators Home Opener Mobile Truck *before the game!*
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Drive, Ottawa ON K2V 1A5
When: 3:00pm - 7:00pm

I hope you can make it to one of these live events to help celebrate our Sens! Play some games, celebrate with other fans and maybe get some autographs -  Go Sens Go!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Canadian Tire and The Ottawa Senators; as always, opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood.  Your opinion/experience may vary

9 Family Fun Fall Activities In Ottawa

Autumn is one of my favourite times of year.  The air is crisp, the leaves are changing colours and it's a lovely time to spend outside as a family.

I have put together a list of activities we love to do in the fall!

  1. Apple Picking is my #1 favourite fall activity.  Apple season normally starts late august and runs until early October.  Our favourite place to go is Mountain Orchards
  2. Find a pumpkin patch - there are many to choose from; 
    • we always go to Abby Hill Farms (Bankfield and Prince of Whales). It's not a "patch" but there is lots to do and a ridiculous amount of pumpkins to choose from.
    • Proulx Farm in Cumberland
    • Millers in Manotick
    • Fosters 
  3. Go for a nature walk - Ottawa has MANY trails to choose from.  We have walked through Old Quarry (Kanata) and Jack Pine (Moody Drive); visited the arboretum at the experimental farm. They are all over the city though, and the Gatineau Hills are just a short drive over the bridge.
  4. Visit a farm - Valley View and the Central Experimental Farm (Agriculture Museum) are great places to go and spend a day. You can walk around, play on the playground and see some animals.
  5. Saunders Farm is a great place to spend some time as a family.  They have daytime hours and nighttime hours - night time can be scary and NOT meant for kids. Daytime has their regular attractions open as well as the haunted hayride and barn of terror (not suitable for kids).  It's a great fall outing and can get you into the Halloween spirit
  6. Cannamore Orchard also offers a haunted hayride and Halloween fun.  I haven't been there, but I have heard it is lots of fun
  7. Upper Canada Village is a great place to visit. I have only been in the summer and once for the Alight at night in December. However, I have heard that fall is a great time to go because it is harvest time!
  8. Fall Colour Races at Cumberland Heritage Museum
  9. Checking out the local farmers markets - lots of local goodies available for purchase
BONUS: Clean the yard - so much fun to jump in a fresh pile of raked leaves!

What is your favourite way to spend a gorgeous fall day? If you have anywhere local I haven't mentioned above - please leave it in the comments so I can add it to my list of places to check out!

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5th Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

Tales of Mommyhood, giveaways, linky, monday madness, contests, win, giveaway linky
Happy October! Thanksgiving is just a week away and then Halloween. Hard to believe that we are in the 10th month of the year already!  I am taking part in a blogging challenge this month - the point is to write and publish a blog post DAILY for the entire 31 days.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Easy Ghost Craft For Kids

My kids have always loved doing crafts, especially around holidays.  Last year for Mr. J's Halloween party, I had set up a craft station for the kids.  They could put together some foam craft sets that I found at the Dollar Store, or they could make paper plate ghosts.

ghost, halloween, crafts, spooky ghost, fun ghost, kids, toddlers, easy craft

Items Needed

  • White paper or foam plates
  • Googly Eyes
  • Glue
  • Coloured construction paper cut into shapes
  • White Streamers (cut into long pieces)

To Assemble

  • Glue eyes onto the plate
  • glue paper shapes onto the plate for nose and mouth
  • glue streamers to the back of the plate
The kids can use their creativity to make different faces, use different colours and make the ghosts however they like.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What Are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving is coming up next weekend, and I thought it would be a good time to think about the things that I am thankful for.  There are many things, but I am only going to be listing a few.

I am Thankful for my family and friends.  They love me and accept me for who I am. 
I am Thankful for my health.  I have not had to battle any major illnesses, and I am grateful about that. 
I am Thankful that I live in a Country where we are relatively safe. We don't have a war going on outside of our front doors.  
I am Thankful that we have a roof over our heads, food in our cupboards/fridge and clothes to wear. We don't have to worry about where our next meal will come from.  
I am Thankful for a public education system. While it may be flawed, we all have access to it. 
I am Thankful for public healthcare - again, like the education system their may be flaws, but we are very lucky to have easy access to doctors.

What are you Thankful for?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Celebrate World Smile Day - 10 Things That Make Me Smile

Apparently today is World Smile Day.... I have not heard of it until now, but it takes place annually on the first Friday of October.  To celebrate, I thought I would list ten things that make me smile

  1. My kids
  2. My hubby
  3. Babies
  4. Puppies
  5. Children laughing
  6. Funny jokes
  7. Comedies
  8. Friends
  9. Memories
  10. Helping someone
What makes you smile?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

5 Tips For Planning The Ultimate Spooky Halloween Party For Kids

My kids are at the age where they love to have their friends over, and even better when they can have a group over.  Halloween is the perfect excuse for a get together - who doesn't love a spooky party this time of year?

5 Tips For Planning The Ultimate Spooky 
Halloween Party For Kids

  1. Choose the date - a Friday or Saturday works best with kids, then send out an invite
  2. Plan some spooky crafts and games to help entertain them
  3. Make some spooky themed treats to serve at the party (we serve witches brew punch)
  4. Decorate the house with some spooky decorations
  5. Have an age appropriate Halloween movie to watch when they are done the activities
The kids had a great time at last years Halloween party! This year, we are going to have a couple of friends over for a Halloween movie instead of a party, but we will be serving up some ghostly treats!