Thursday, June 28, 2012

Last day of JK for my little guy

Today is the last day of school for my son.....while most kids are happy to have the summer off, he is sad. He told me yesterday he is going to miss his teachers a lot, and that he wishes he could go to school all summer.

To get him somewhat excited about summer holidays, we created a summer fun list. We sat down, and made a list of things we want to be sure to do this summer (I got the idea from my friend over at Learning Titus 2).  A few of his ideas: go to dairy queen; go on a bike ride in the rain; have a sleepover at his grandparents house and go mini putting. There are others, but those were the ones he came up with on his own.

What will you do with your kids this summer?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

#freetheirimagination contest from Energizer

I strongly believe that kids should be kids. They should have the opportunity to run, play, create and explore.  We, as parents need to encourage them to expand their imaginations - even if that means turning our living room into a jungle and having the couch become a safari ride!

My oldest is extremely creative - and he loves to use his imagination in play.  He often pulls out the craft supplies and could spend hours cutting paper, gluing shapes/letters or painting and drawing - he loves our crayola finger paints and has free reign with them on his wooden play structure out back.

Julien and his dad starting to decorate the play structure with paint

When we are playing in the house with toys, any that are electronic get energizer MAX batteries - they help us to get all we can out of our toys with long lasting batteries.

How do you get creative? Do you explore your childs imagination with them?

Energizer and Crayola truly understand the importance of creative play, and they have a great contest going on right now.

From June 25, 2012 until October 1, 2012 they will be having hourly draws taking place with over 2000 prizes to be won.  Visit The Energizer Bunny facebook page; give them a "like" and then enter for your chance at one of the prizes. You can also find bonus PINS on different blogs that will give you extra entries - the bonus pin for Tales of Mommyhood is "Battery"!

Good luck - and don't forget to get creative with your kids and let them explore their imaginations!

Disclosure – I am participating in the Energizer program by Mom Central Canada.  I received compensation for my participation in this campaign.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Save on Auto Insurance with Insurance Hunter

Post brought to you by Insurance Hunter. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you live in Ontario? Have you heard of Insurance Hunter before? It is an online service that hunts for the best insurance rate for you. You choose the rate you are interested in (auto, home or travel) and then fill in the information they request of you.  It is quite simple, and only took me a few minutes to complete for Auto Insurance!  

Insurance Hunter makes it so easy to compare rates - it is all done on the computer (you don't have to make call after call, only to end up on hold or give the same information numerous times - you enter your information into their form, and then it will give back hits to you to look at). I have had the same provider for my Car Insurance for over 16 years, and in less than 5 minutes I had 3 other companies rates to compare it to - it was great to see! Once you check out the matches they have for you, you can decide to make a purchase and continue to do so online - all from the comfort of your home or office!

If you are looking to purchase insurance for the first time, or interested to see how your current rates compare to other companies out there, then I would urge you to check out Insurance Hunter for your free quote!  

Be sure to connect with Insurance Hunter on facebook and twitter

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, June 25, 2012

Strawberry Picking and swimming

I love strawberries - they are one of my absolute favorite fruits. There are so many ways to eat them, and delicious recipes to try -- mmmm. 

This year for our Canada Day celebration I will be making a fruit pizza - and I know I will be topping it with delicious strawberries. While I do eat them year round, they don't taste the same outside of our berry season.

Yesterday, a friend and I took our children to Richmond Nurseries Strawberry Farm to pick strawberries (what a great way to spend a morning) we managed to get a few full baskets. Afterwards, back to their place for lunch and a swim - and I am so proud of Julien. Julien has a fear of water; he always says he wants to swim, but he clings to me terrified the whole time we are in the pool. My cousin and I had some progress last year getting him to go between the 2 of us (standing about 3 feet apart) but with lack of pool time it quickly disappeared.

Yesterday was his first swim this year, and while he did start off clinging to me he ended up going around the whole pool (wearing his life jacket) and using a pool noodle. I was so proud of him - now if only we can keep him in the water for the rest of the summer......

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hey Canada - let's celebrate with #TGCBB

The Great Canadian Blog Bash (TGCBB) is here! Brought to you by Whispered Inspirations, Positively Pampered Patty, Kats Confessions, Mom vs. the Boys and Good Girl Gone Green -  I am teaming up with them and a great group of bloggers to help celebrate Canada, our awesome country,  in a BIG way!  Each blog is celebrating Canada Day - and there are lots of great giveaways going on - open only to CANADIANS!

TGCBB will run from June 25 - July 1 - that gives you a week to hop around the different blogs, find out some Canadian facts and enter all of the great contests going on!

A few Canadian Facts:

- Canada did not have a national flag until February 15, 1965 when the Maple Leaf was adopted by parliament
- Newfoundland was the first area explored by Europeans, and the last to become an official province (1949)
- Basketball was invented by a Canadian, James Naismith
- Winnie the Pooh is based on a black bear from Winnipeg (he was donated to the London Zoo)
- one of MY favorite books, Anne of Green Gables, was written by Canadian Author Lucy Maude Montgomery

As a family, we host a bbq for our friends every year. It started off our first Canada Day living in this house, and has continued as an annual tradition. Over the years, the party has changed - what used to start in the evening and continue to the wee hours of the morning has now evolved into an afternoon get together and bbq, with most of our friends heading home between 8 and 10pm - things change when everyone starts having families - and of course we want the kiddo's to get in on the celebrations!

Canada Day 2010 - Jules all tired out from a long day

Canada Day 2011 - the boys playing on the deck

Canada Day 2011 - hubby ready for a party!

And now - onto the prize!  Kernels Popcorn has generously donated a $30.00 virtual gift card for one of MY readers. That means that YOU (well, all the Canadian YOU) have the chance to win it! Just use the rafflecopter form below to get your entries in - and remember, it is only open to Canadians (check out the Kernels Sponsor Spotlight)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Cash Giveaway

I want to help you start your summer off with a little extra cash in your pocket - use it for a pedicure, a night out on a patio or to pay some bills - whatever it is that you need it for!

This Lil Piglet and Tales of a Ranting Ginger, together with a group of fabulous Canadian bloggers are proud to present the Summer Cash Giveaway June 21st 12:01 am EST- June 28th midnight.

Enter to win $115 US cash via PayPal. Anyone with a PayPal account can enter to win this cash prize; open worldwide!

Use the rafflecopter form below to enter - and good luck! I would love for one of my readers to walk away with a little extra cash in their paypal account!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Resource Natural Spring Water

Don't forget to connect with them on facebook

* I have received the above mentioned product(s)free in exchange for this post*

Monday, June 18, 2012

Win a dyson vacuum from My Little Review Corner

There is a great giveaway starting today over at My Little Review Corner - head on over and enter to win your very own DYSON DC43 Animal Vaccum! You can click HERE and follow the directions for your chance to win!

Easy Spirit Travel Time shoe giveaway

The time has come for an exciting giveaway to begin! This giveaway is all about parents on the go this summer. Moms are constantly on the run and with summer travels under way we thought is would be perfect to give away some TravelTime shoes by EasySpirit!

 About This Giveaway:
EasySpirit Shoe + Cash Giveaway
 This Giveaway is hosted by and in partnership with The giveaway is set to begin June 18th, 2012 and is scheduled to run to 11:59 EST on June 25th, 2012. The prizes include 2 pairs of the popular TravelTime Shoes (US entrants only), and a $50 Cash Prize paid via Paypal (US/Canada entrants). Giveaway is open to US and Canadian participants however Canadian participants are limited to $50 cash prize as we are unable to ship the shoes to Canadian residents.

About & TravelTime Shoes
 EasySpirit is a popular shoe company that has been around for 20 years. They began with the mission to create comfort for women and still focus on that concept 20 years later. The Easy Spirit brand was created for all women and includes many size options as well as width options that include a wide and double wide option. However their most popular shoe is the TravelTime line. This slide on sneaker is great for walking and light activity. The removable sock liner absorbs shock and provides superior comfort; you'll wear them everywhere!

How to Enter The Giveaway
 To enter the giveaway simply follow to the form below and begin the entree options. You can complete as little as one to be enter in, however the more you do the better your chances will be. The giveaway will begin at precisely 12:01 EST am June 18th, 2012 and will run for one week ending on 11:59 EST on June 25th, 2012. All entries must be valid and will be verified. One winner per prize will be selected within 48hours of the end of the giveaway. US entrants will have the opportiWinners will be announced shortly after and notified via email. All winners will be required to provide information that may be confidential for delivery purposes. However no information will be given out to any additional parties. Good Luck!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

@firmoo glasses giveaway!

Firmoo is a global online optical store - you can purchase your prescription glasses (or prescription sunglasses) at a very low price, and have them delivered right to your door!

They have a number of styles and colours to choose from, and the prices range from $8.00 up to $70.00. Ordering is fairly simple - you will need your prescription from your optometrist (and don't forget to have them measure the PD -distance between your pupils- you will need this number and while you can do it yourself, it is much more accurate when they do it); choose the frames you like and type of lenses you need, fill out the form and then you wait.

Shipping time - your looking at an average of 10-14 days most likely (depending on where you live, and what shipping method you choose). Regular, single vision lenses your order would be ready to ship in 3-4 business days.

I ordered my frames, and when they came in they looked exactly like the online picture. I put them on and the difference was amazing (I haven't worn glasses in 3 years - my vision changed with pregnancy and nursing) I was so happy to finally be able to work on the computer and read a book without my eyes feeling tired.

Firmoo is offering my readers a giveaway!

First prize - 2 winners, each will receive a pair of glasses (their choice) and free shipping
Second prize - 1 winner will receive a free pair, shipping not included
Third prize - 1 winner will receive a $25.00 voucher to use at firmoo

 Entering is easy - use the rafflecopter form below. Remember to complete all entries you say you have, I do verify and you will be disqualified if I find that your entries are not "real"

*Tales of Mommyhood was supplied with the above product free of charge in exchange for a review; all opinions are my own and yours may vary. Tales of mommyhood is not responsible for the prizes being awarded - that is the responsibility of the prize sponsor*

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I was the mom

You know the mom/dad you see in the mall carrying a kicking/screaming child; the one that you can empathize with, but that you never want to be? That was me - yesterday.

It was a rainy day, the kids were going crazy at home. My mom and I decided we would head out to a local mall (I needed to get a new pair of glasses) so off we headed.

The whole way there, Mr. J kept saying he wanted to go to Funhaven (local attraction) - I should have known right then to turn the car around, but off we headed.

The original plan was for my mom to take the kids to get something to eat, and I would meet them there after looking at the optical stores. Julien would have none of it - he wanted to stay with me. So off we went, but we never made it to the optical store - had to make a detour to the bathroom....once he was finished, he wanted to go find Gramz and get something to eat. He was being a little rambunctious (to say the least) but when we got to the food court my mom was waiting for the food she had ordered...I figured he would calm down a bit once he got some lunch...again, I was wrong - he only got more agitated after eating.

Mom had a few things to get at the pharmacy, so she headed off with Mr. K. Mr. J wanted to stay with me; once again - I should have known that I was in trouble.....

We passed a small child's merry -go- round, you know the little electric rides? He wanted to go on it, and I hoped that if he did something for him, that it would help...nope - again, I was wrong. We finally caught up to my mom and Mr. K, and I knew I had to get Mr. J out of the mall - he was acting like a wild, I did what I had to do... I kept my calm (surprisingly) I spoke as low as I could - and I picked him up and headed for the car.  He fought me (and it is really sad, but at just shy of 5 he IS stronger than me) he kicked me, he pulled my hair, he slapped my face and he even tried to rip my shirt off (bet the folks staring loved that show).

I had to set him down 3 times for fear of dropping him....we made it outside, and to the car (both of us in one piece, surprisingly) and after a long struggle, finally got him in his carseat and done up.

So yes, I was THAT parent at the mall yesterday

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sac o Grande

There is a great giveaway on right now for a Sac o Grande purse ( Chain Chick in red, black or silver depending on availability) ARV is $89.99

Giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents - you can use the rafflecopter form below to enter - good luck!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Three Stooges - Blu-ray/DVD/Digital release date July 17

The Three Stooges will be hitting the shelves on July 17  - available in Blu-ray, DVD and Digital download, you will be able to get your own copy!

THE THREE STOOGES Blu-ray Special Features

· Deleted/Extended Scenes
· What’s the Big Idea? A History of The Three Stooges
· Knuckleheads: Behind the Scenes of The Three Stooges
· Did You Hear that? The Three Stooges Sound Effects
· Poifect: Casting The Three Stooges
· The Three Stooges Mash-up
· Original Screen Test

Only a few more weeks until you can bring The Three Stooges to your own television screen!

Review - Green Beaver Sunscreen (@thegreenbeaver)

I think we can all agree that sun safety is important.  I am a fair skinned woman, always have been - and I burn easily. Growing up, I was always jealous of those that had beautiful, tanned skin. I even went so far as to lay out in the sun with no sunscreen HOPING to get a burn, because then it would turn into a tan after a few days. Was I ever lacking in knowledge regarding sun safety.

Once I started hearing more about skin cancer, and the effects the sun has on a persons body, I did start to take a little more care in the sunscreen department. But, I will admit that it was not until I had kids that it REALLY sank in with me.  I made sure to educate myself on the different types of sun screen on the market, and how they work.

Wearing sunscreen doesn't make you invincible from the sun - you still need to take precautions. Staying hydrated, wearing a hat, sitting in the shade, and taking a break from strenuous activities will all help. Did you also know that sunscreen should be applied 20-30 minutes before exposure to sun, and then it should be reapplied every 2 hours (or after getting out of the water as it can wash away). Be liberal with the amount you use - to avoid burns you want GOOD coverage - and don't forget your feet, ears and back of your neck (your head too if your bald).

You don't need a super-high SPF; there isn't a huge difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 - but 30 is the lowest recommended. If you use higher, it doesn't mean that you can stay out in the sun for hours longer, so be smart and take breaks indoors if you can, or in the shade at least.

Since becoming a mom, I have become much more conscious of what goes on our skin and in our bodies. I also have never really paid much attention to which brand of sunscreen I bought, or the ingredients used.  With the boys eczema, I have had to get much more picky - and I wanted to try something natural. I recently had the chance to try out Green Beaver Kids Sunscreen - read below for my views on the product.

I will admit, when I first tried it out I was a little put off. I found it thick, oily and after it was applied it still felt greasy.  I wasn't quite ready to give up though, and after speaking with a friend of mine who owns a natural parenting store (that also sells Green Beaver products) she gave me some tips on how to use it and I came home and tried them.

The first tip - knead the tube of sunscreen with your hands to help work everything in together and the second tip - shake the tube with all you have got - this will help to mix the oil back in.

After getting home, I grabbed the tube and kneaded it for a good 60 seconds. Then I shook it up for another 20 seconds or so, and when I opened it was very happy with what I saw. It came out easily and then I rubbed it between my hands and was able to easily apply it to the kids.  It gives GREAT coverage and once it is on it doesn't leave the body white - and after using the tips above, I didn't find it as noticeably greasy on the skin either.

- made in Canada
- natural product with no harmful chemicals
- certified organic
- good coverage
- no reaction with the boys eczema - not one flare up while using the product!

The only real cons I found are that it is slightly greasy and not as convenient to apply as the aerosol sprays. However, I will give up convenience for the health factor with my family (although they do have a non-aerosol spray available in SPF 27, but that is not the one I reviewed)

I would say that if you want the convenience factor - then this isn't the product for you. I know it is much easier to grab a spray bottle and get the kids geared up for the sun - but it is much less healthy.  If you are looking for a natural alternative, then Green Beaver is a great product and you should give it a try!.Green Beaver has a number of product lines available, for hair, face, body and more. You can connect with them on Twitter and Facebook as well!

*The product mentioned above was received free of charge in exchange for my opinion. Tales of Mommyhood is not responsible should your opinion or experience vary from ours. I am not a doctor or skin care expert - please check with your doctor or pharmacist for more information*

More posts that might interest you:
Nature Clean products Summer Activities fun things for kidssummer camp

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thankful Friends Flash Giveaway

I am so excited to be taking part in the Thankful Friends Flash Giveaway! A group of bloggers have come together to help recognize Gingermommy, who blogs at Tales of the Ranting Ginger - she is such a wonderful Canadian blogger - who has offered me, and many others,  help NUMEROUS times  - this is our way of saying thank you! Please head over to her blog, facebook page and twitter and say hello!

Thankful Friends Flash Giveaway will run for June 5th and 6th only - it is open worldwide, and anyone with a paypal account can win - the total prize is $120.00 USD! Entering is simple, use the rafflecopter form below - good luck!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The challenges of parenthood

My oldest has always been a handful.  He was born around 36weeks, spent 10 days in the NICU of our local childrens hospital, and when he came home he wasn't the easiest baby.  He nursed constantly (which after having my 2nd, I realized that my supply had been low with my first - explaining the constant nursing). He was never a good sleeper - and didn't actually sleep through the night until we did some sleep training at 11.5mths old. Even then, 3 mths or so later when he started cutting his molars that went out the window and to this day he is up at least once a night (often just to come into our bed and then back to sleep).

He also has some behavior issues - I can definitely link it to his sleeping (as I said, not a great sleeper and even if he sleeps 12 hours, he is never fully rested) - this causes him to get wild. He gets so tired, that he passes the point of being able to fall asleep and gets wired. Not energized like after exercising or anything, but bouncing off the walls as if he is hopped up on is really difficult to deal with, especially if I am alone with both the kids.

I think we have finally figured out the issue - one of his tonsils is enlarged, and they suspect his adenoids as well - leading him to have trouble breathing, causing sleeping issues and that results in his wild behavior.  Now, we wait for our referral to the ENT to see what she says....

In the mean time, while we wait - I would welcome any suggestions you may have. When the weather is nice, it's not so bad because we can spend the majority of his home time outside - and that seems to exhaust him enough to fall asleep almost immediately at bed time. But when the weather has been crappy like the last week, our outdoor time is much more limited.

I am at a loss as to handling his behavior - it's like he is so out of it that he can't even process what we are saying/doing - as if he is in his own world.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Are you stuck on what type of gift to buy your husband or father for fathers day? Keep reading - I have some great ideas for you. Some are free and others are a little more costly:

1) have your child make them something (hand made card, decorate a large rock, hand prints in a frame, write a poem)
2) pack a picnic lunch and head out as a family to a local park - play frisbee, soccer or fly a kite if it's a windy day - don't forget to take lots of pictures to capture the memories
3) for the sports player - a GC to a sports store so they can purchase anything they may be needing (attire or accessories)
4) for the golf lover - GC to a local golf course for either the driving range or a round of golf
5) for the car enthusiast - a car cleaning kit like this one or this one from Norwex - I am an Independant Norwex Consultant, if you would like to purchase this package you can order it online or email me and I would be happy to help you out!

** if you make a Norwex purchase before 7pm Saturday, June 9th 10% of the retail price will be donated to the CHEO telethon**

#TGCBB Sponsor Spotlight - Kernels Popcorn!

I don't know about you, but I am a huge popcorn lover - I grew up with a popcorn loving mother, and I have passed the popcorn love onto my kids. Any time we head to the local mall, Julien asks to head over to Kernels and grab a bag of popcorn and a slushie! Kernels has a number of different flavours to choose from (with some pretty catchy names like Jalapeno Jack and Whalin White Cheese) but my favorite is the Original ButterSalt!

Kernels Popcorn is a Canadian company that has been around for 29 years! They first got started in 1983 and now they have almost 70 stores - the largest retail popcorn chain in the world!! How awesome is that. They also proudly support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and thru their Pink Bag campaign they have raised over $205,500! If you want to help them get that figure higher – look for the pink bags next time you visit a Kernels location!

For more information on Kernels Popcorn you can connect with them on Facebook and Twitter!

And now for some great news – I am happy to tell you that Kernels Popcorn and Tales of Mommyhood have paired up to bring YOU a great prize for TGCBB! Check back here between June 25 and July 1 for your chance to enter to win a Kernels Prize!

** All opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your experience/opinion may vary; this is a sponsor spotlight to thank them for donating a prize for me to offer my readers – I have not been compensated in any way**