Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#babyshower giveaway PAMPERS!

Do you have a little one on the way? or do you have kids in diapers at home? need a great baby gift? Then this giveaway is for you. Pampers is offering a prize pack worth $100 of diapers and wipes!

This is another Canada only giveaway - so if you are over 18 and live in Canada, fill out the rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!

Thank you to Kidsumers for organizing this giveaway.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blogiversary Bash - giveaway #4

As the blogiversary nears, it is time for one more giveaway - this is the final one, and will end on August 9th, 2012.

Mastermind Toys has been kind enough to offer up to one of my readers a Wobble Deck Electronic Memory Game (6+).

Use the rafflecopter form below to enter - good luck!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Back to School with #lovablelabels - GIVEAWAY

Lovable Labels was started when a mom was asked to label all of her childs belongings for daycare. She realized that other parents were in the same situations - and Lovable Labels was born. They launched in 2003.

Lovable Labels offers personalized durable labels and tags. They have developed high quality labels that are waterproof, dishwasher and microwave safe, washer and dryer safe, sun safe, bleach safe, sunscreen safe and temperature safe.  Lovable labels have a number of different labels to choose from - to make sure you have all your labeling bases covered!

I, personally, found Lovable Labels last year before my oldest started JK - I needed to label all his belongings and was overwhelmed with all the choices out there. When I saw the cute designs Lovable Labels has, I decided to give them a try.

This year, I have been asked to do a review on their Back to School Pack that is available - and it comes at the perfect time because school will be starting in a few weeks, so I am back to labeling all of his belongings as he heads off to SK!

The Back to School Pack costs $44.95, is available in 12 designs/colours and 45 icons - the pack consists of the following:

-15 Sticker Labels-80 Slimline Labels
-12 Shoe Labels
-48 Press n' Stick Clothing DOTS™
-2 Mini-Metal Tags (two 4” silver ball chains incld)
-12 Square Labels
shoe labels
This year, for Julien's labels I chose the sport pack! They are easy to apply, stick well and are a great way for him to identify his belongings. I chose the sport pack because he loves most sports, and thought it would be a good fit for him. He is pretty happy with them, and he loves to help me label all of his items. The labels from last year are still hanging around - so I really only need to label his new belongings.

Here is a picture of Juliens indoor shoes from this year, with the label still on them

and now a pic of his sandals for camp next week

If you are interested in purchasing a Back to School Pack, or any of the other Lovable Labels products, use code BTS201203 and you will receive $5.00 off any purchase of $25.00 or higher. Lovable Labels is offering one of my readers (open to Canada/US) the chance to win their very own Back to School Pack. Use the rafflecopter form below to enter - and good luck!

Ontario Poison Centre

Do you ever have days, where you should know from early on that it is going to be a horrible day? That was me yesterday. I should have known, that when it started off by me having to call Ontario Poison Centre hotline that I was in for a rough day.

The boys were happily playing trains in the basement - so I went upstairs to get dressed. I didn't hurry, because they were  in the playroom and I knew they were ok.  I was dawdling, tidying up the bathroom a bit when I hear Julien (trying to be quiet) say to Kyle "we have to be quiet, cause Mommy will say these will make us sick" uh-oh - I bee-line downstairs, to find them sitting in our living room, Julien with an open bottle of adult multi-vitamins, and Kyle with one in his hand.  I ask Julien, calmly, how many he had - and he replies 1. I ask how many Kyle had, he said he was not counting, but 10-15.....oh boy. So, I look at the bottle, and see there is no iron (my heart steadies a bit) I look at the rest of the ingredients, and think the vit A might be a problem, so I decided to call the Poison centre - just to be safe. Before I called, I counted the vitamins left, and knew the MOST he had was 7.

Of course, I had to look up the # on my computer (so for all you reading this, go write the # down on your fridge RIGHT NOW).  I put the call in, a very nice nurse answers the phone and I tell her my issue. She asks me a couple questions, does a calculation and then informs me that for the pills to be toxic to my children, they would have had to ingested 240 tablets each - my heart is now beating normally. She said that there would be zero side effects - that made me happy. Then she mentioned something, that vitamins etc should not be kept up high, as it just entices kids to climb to get them. Instead, buy a lock box, keep the items in the LOCKED box, and keep it low so that they are not tempted to climb to find out what is in the box.

So that was my start to the day....and while my children came out at the end of the day alive and well, it was a day filled with constant battles and crankiness.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Avent 3 in 1 Sterilizer #babyshower

I am so excited to bring you another giveaway for the online #babyshower! When babies enter our lives, it turns things upside down.  Often times leaving little to no time for important tasks. One extremely important task when newborns are around is to have bottles and nipples sterilized.

Now is your chance to win an Avent 3 in 1 Sterilizer (valued at $99.99) - so for all my Canadian readers (yes, this is open to Canada only) complete the tasks on the rafflecopter form below for your chance!

Thank you to Kidsumers for organizing this giveaway.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

touristy fun without leaving our city!

At the beginning of the summer, Julien and I made a summer fun bucket list (a list of things we wanted to do this summer)

One of the items on the list was to walk around downtown and see some of the touristy things Ottawa has to offer.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, so my mom and I decided to take the boys out and wander around. Here are a few pics from our day. We started walking up towards Parliament Hill, saw a man with some parrots offering pictures so we stopped and posed - then we continued up to the Hill and watched the ending of the changing of the guard. Kyle was FASCINATED by it - but Julien not so much. When it ended, Kyle wanted to get a closer look at the guards so we went and had a picture taken. We then walked up to the front of Parliament, but decided against a free tour as it lasts approx. 45 minutes.  We took a stroll over to Majors Hill Park, the boys had lunch and then we wandered over to the market for a beavertail!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mobi Prize Pack - Giveaway #babyshower

I am taking part in a #babyshower giveaway event! Today I will be sharing with you a Mobi Prize pack valued at $145.00.

The prize is a $145 Mobi Prize Pack that includes the following:
-2 AnimaLamps: award-winning no-heat rechargeable, adjustable LED lights [1 Bunny, 1 Giraffe – one is for the nursery (late night changing/feeding) and one is for Mom’s use anywhere else

-1 WallMates: award-winning no heat color-changing plug-in night lights, safari characters. Auto on at dusk, auto off at dawn.

-1 Pure Sounds Digital Audio Monitor

-DualScan Dual Ear or Forehead Thermometer

Use the rafflecopter form below to enter - good luck - but it's only open to Canadians!

Thank you to Kidsumers for hosting this giveaway

Letting kids be kids

I am a believer that kids need the opportunity to be kids. Meaning, that they need to have free time to explore the world around them.  Unstructured time to discover their likes and dislikes, their talents and areas they may be weak in or not enjoy. They need the time with their parents and siblings.

I find that parents are often so intent that their child learn different things, and be GREAT at those things, so they have them way over scheduled - running from activity to activity. Where is the time to sit down and bond? Where is the time for them to just have fun - to lie down on the floor and be silly together? to imagine what the world could be (dinosaurs living in the backyard; unicorns running around the street) Not having to rush through dinner to get out the door to swimming/gymnastics/hockey/karate or whatever it may be?

Kids need time to be free. They need time to run around the neighborhood discovering nature; time to play freely in their room or backyard.  Time with YOU doing stuff YOU enjoy, to see if they like it too (both my boys LOVE to help me bake, and love to help their dad build things and fix things).

That's not to say that I don't put my kids in scheduled activities - I do. But, I try and limit it to 1 activity per "season". Last fall, Julien took skating lessons - 1x Week for 9 weeks. In the winter, he took cooking class - 1x Week for 8 weeks. In the spring, he did a soccer class - it was 5 weeks, introductory soccer class to see if he liked it (he loved it).

This year, I plan on putting both the boys into swimming in the fall, Julien will do the cooking class again if it is offered in the winter, and we will put him in a soccer league in the spring.

Why? because he loves the cooking class, and loved playing soccer. Swimming - he is starting to enjoy, and the lessons are more for my piece of mind than anything.

Kyle, we will do swimming together in the fall; I will probably sign him up for either play classes at the nursery school he will attend next spring, or with the city - I need to see what is offered before making the decision.

I want my kids to LOVE the activities we put them in. If they don't like it, they have to finish the program, but we will try something new the next time.

What about you? Do you have your kids in scheduled, structured activities? Are you like me, and only do them occasionally or do you like the structure of them and have the kids attend frequently?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kyle and the clippers

My oldest has never liked getting his haircut. Ever. I would struggle through while he cried, but we always were able to finish the cut (although I am sure the hairdresser/barber cringed anytime they saw us coming).  We finally had some success with his grandparents taking him, but after a year of that it wasn't working either.

Kyle was great with his first cut, and ok with the 2nd. I dreaded the 3rd attempt - and asked hubby to just buzz it at home.

Friends posted a pic of their son a few weeks ago getting his head shaved, and eating a freezie - so I stole the idea.  We gave him a freezie and hubby went to work - he didn't even EAT the freezie until the cut was finished as he was too busy figuring out what his dad was doing.



and the final product - the next morning we continued to give him a slight mohawk!

Monday, July 23, 2012


I know that co-sleeping is a big no-no when it comes to infants, and I will admit that I did it occasionally.  When you have a breastfed baby - it is really easy to nurse them lying down and you can both sleep. All they want is the comfort of your breast, and it allows you to both get your rest while baby gets the nutrition/comfort they require.

As much as it would have been nice to co-sleep with Kyle regularly, Julien was a nightly fixture in our bed and I was always worried that he would roll over onto the baby, or kick him in the head or something....so it rarely happened. Now, at 23 mths, Kyle will still only sleep in his crib - which is GREAT in some respects, but it made it difficult to be out of the house when he was younger because he wouldn't sleep in the stroller/car seat or playpen at someone else house.

Julien, when he was an infant I would pull him into bed with me when he awoke at 4 or 5 am. This allowed me to get an extra hour or 2 in, even if he didn't sleep he liked the comfort of being next to me. When he was about 20 mths old, my hubby was working a weird night shift, and when Julien woke up in the middle of the night I would bring him into our bed. It got him back to sleep, and let me sleep too!

However, at 5 yrs old, he is still a nightly visitor to our bed. I am not completely bothered by it, he obviously needs the reassurance, so I will let him continue for awhile. BUT - what used to be a 3 or 4am visit, has now started to become a 10pm - 12 am visit. It has gotten MUCH earlier.  I am tempted to sleep in his room for a week and see if we can get him out of the habit....the problem lies in that I would need to sleep on the floor.

What is REALLY funny - is that before I  became a mother, I swore my kids were not going to sleep in my bed. Ever.... haha, guess I was wrong.

Do your kids climb in with you?

Blogiversary bash - giveaway #3

Hello everyone! Thanks for helping me to celebrate my fourth blogiversary. This giveaway is for 3 months worth of ad space on Tales of Mommyhood. There will be 2 winners, and each will get a 125*125 advertising space on Tales of Mommyhood - FREE for 3 months!

Must be a family friendly site - at the discretion of Tales of Mommyhood. Entering is simple, complete the tasks in the rafflecopter form below - good luck!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The day that changed my life

today is the anniversary of the day that changed my life. It was a big life event; the day my father died.  July 21, 1995. I will forever remember the exact way that day played out. Even now, I can remember the emotions I felt at the time.

Losing a loved one is NEVER easy. It doesn't matter whether it is a blood relative, or a close friend. Loss hurts. It scars, and it can create such upheaval that it can be hard to recover from.

Losing a parent as a teenager was VERY difficult. Most of my friends had never experienced ANY sort of loss, and had no idea how to react. They figured after a few months I would be over it (yes, one even said that to me) On top of dealing with regular teenage stuff, I was trying to learn how to cope with my dads death. Add in the fact that he traveled 2 weeks a month for business (meaning having him NOT home was not abnormal)  It took me a VERY long time to actually process my fathers death, and in that time I went through 2 bouts of depression/anxiety and sought out counselling for it both times.

My fathers death has played a large part into who I am today; it created a bond between my brother, mother and I that most people don't understand.

I am envious of those who have their parents with them, and that get to see their own children interacting. I am thankful that my children have 3 caring, loving grandparents - but I can't help but wish that the 4th was here on earth with them.

He would have been one of their biggest supporters no matter where life took them. I know that he is watching them, and I believe he is now their guardian angel - but I wish that they could have KNOWN their "papa rick".

I will be visiting my fathers grave with my children today - and remembering what a wonderful man he was. My mom and I try and spend the day together, and she will be coming with us also.

Friday, July 20, 2012

quality time with Ky

Every few weeks, hubby and Jules head out to play mini-putt. This year, the place they go had a "season" pass for $20.00 - so we bought 2 of them. It costs them just under $20.00 for 2 rounds, so this way, if they went twice then the passes would start to be worth the money.

This is the 3rd time they have gone and used the passes, so now they are "free" mini-putt days to them! However, Kyle now realizes when Julien goes out - and he gets quite upset.  He had just gotten up from his nap when they were leaving, and the big crocodile tears started.

We went to the window to wave good bye, and then I told him we could make blueberry muffins.  This is the first time I have actually baked with Kyle. He is often with me, sitting in the booster seat and 'helping" but today I actually let him REALLY help me. He sat on the counter, and he got to pour the ingredients into the bowl.

 He was able to use the electric beaters (with my guidance) and he even helped me spoon some of the muffin mix into the holders.

When we were finished, we tasted our hard work and then played trains for awhile!

Do you plan time to spend with your spouse?

Do you make sure you and your spouse have time together as a "couple" instead of as "parents"?

My hubby and I are fortunate that our kids go to bed quite early (Kyle normally by 630, but if he doesn't nap then 5pm) and Julien generally by 8pm at the latest.

This gives us time to re-connect - whether it is sitting outside on the porch, backyard, or watching a movie. We have time to talk about our day, what is going on and for me to fill him in on what the kids have been up to.

We used to make sure that we got out at least 1x 2mths, but since having Kyle that hasn't really happened. We are planning on making sure it does now though.  When you have a baby that will only fall asleep after nursing, and needed to nurse at wake ups, it made it a little difficult for me to leave him. It didn't bother me though, I knew that by nursing him,  I was going to be tied to him until he gave it up, and I was happy to do it.

Now that he has finished though, I am looking forward to getting out of the house with my husband more frequently. We have our first one planned for next weekend - we will be going out bowling and for drinks with another couple.

What type of things do you and your partner do on your date nights? Movies, dinner, drinks?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to work Superfruits into your summer party

This article was submitted on behalf of the author, Jill McRae - Chief Tastemaker for True Beverages, made in Canada

I was sent a few samples of the juices mentioned below to taste; hubby, myself and the boys all enjoyed them. I particularly liked the blueberry lemonade flavour.  I made the TrueBlue party punch and it was delicious - definitely a great way to work in superfruits to your summer party menu!

How to Work Superfruits into Your Summer Party
By Jill McRae

Balmy summer nights beg for chilled patio drinks and backyard barbecues. But before you reach for the rosé, consider fixing yourself and your loved ones a drink with Superfruits. Not only are Superfruits rich in antioxidants, but those sweet-smelling berries are great for the brain, heart and overall health.

Whether you’re planning a family picnic, or a mommy’s night off, here are four delicious ways to work Superfruits into your summer party.

Adult Fun:

TrueBlack Sangria is a simple recipe that is bursting with fresh fruit and flavour. Squeezed for time? Mix this sangria the day before and it will be just as tasty. The not-so-secret ingredient to this sangria is new TrueBlack juice made from grape, blackberry and aronia berry juice.

TrueBlack Sangria
½ bottle (1.89/64oz) TrueBlack Blackberry Cocktail

3 cups cabernet sauvignon

1 cup orange juice

1 16oz can red grapefruit sections (juice and fruit)

2 navel oranges sliced

2 limes sliced

1 lemon sliced

3 fresh peaches, skinned and sliced in eights

Garnish with fresh or frozen blueberries or blackberries

The Antioxidant Blutini combines the flavours of TrueBlue with citrus and nutty liquors to create a smooth, refreshing cocktail. Get your superfruit fix shaken over ice with this blueberry based cocktail that is high in antioxidents.

Antioxidant Blutini

1 oz TrueBlue (any flavour)

1 oz triple sec

½ oz amaretto

½ oz cointreau

Kids Fun:

Not only will this party punch withstand the taste test, it contains no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. Wild blueberries top the superfruits chart and have been linked to promoting memory and brain health.

TrueBlue Party Punch
2 cups (500ml) TrueBlue Wild Blueberry

2 cups (500ml) ginger ale

1 cup (250ml) orange juice

2 tbsp (30ml) lemon juice

It’s not hard to convince kids to get on board with TrueBlack Blackberry Popsicles especially if you add fresh blueberries and blackberries! Simple and delicious, this is a treat that parents can feel good about offering their kids. TrueBlack Blackberry is all natural and packed with nutritious berry juices rather than sugar.

TrueBlack Swirl Popsicles

1 cup (250ml) TrueBlack Blackberry

1 cup (250 ml) plain yogurt

1 tbsp honey


Combine honey with yogurt. Pour an inch of yogurt into the popsicle molds, then an inch of TrueBlack juice, and repeat until the molds are filled. Use a chopstick or skewer to gently swirl the liquids together. Freeze overnight.

Jill McRae is a mom and Chief Tastemaker for True Beverages, which are made in Canada and formulated without additives or preservatives. Taste how much they care by trying these delicious and natural, close to home juice blends. For more information visit: www.leadingbrandsinc.com

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

vacations and your family

Growing up, we never took vacations. My dad traveled a lot for work, so when he was home and off, we would often do day trips to different places, or a weekend to Toronto etc.

The only time we actually went away, was when I was 10 and we had a family reunion in Halifax - but my mom didn't come because the store she worked at was closing and she had to stay and help close up. I have fond memories of that trip.

After my father died, my mom did take us to Florida for march break that year, and we had a lot of fun.

I also don't remember my parents going away - never on a vacation. The odd time they would head to Montreal or Toronto for a wedding, but that was it.  I remember asking my mom once why they never went away, and she said that she didn't want to leave us.  If they were to go away, it would have been a family vacation.

That always stuck with me, and as a mom - I feel the EXACT same way. My kids are young - if we are going to go anywhere, I want them to come with us.  We went to Disney last year, and had a blast - will likely do it again in a year or two.

So what about you - do you and your partner get away every year or do you bring the kids? or do you not take vacations at all? what about growing up?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Giveaway Promote's Anniversary Giveaway: $1,375+ worth of prizes, 23 winners!

Welcome to Giveaway Promote's Anniversary Giveaway!

I am so happy to share with you this amazing giveaway opportunity! I have joined Giveaway Promote in celebrating their first anniversary. Keep reading to find out about all the terrific prizes that are up for grabs!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

So excited to be an Adult Essentials Brand Ambassador from Shes Connected

I am so happy to tell you that I am one of the newest brand ambassadors for Adult Essentials Gummy Vitamins!  I am really looking forward to this new partnership - and bringing you some information about these wonderful vitamins. As a brand ambassador - I received a nice black bag filled with boxes of vitamins to try (even some IronKids calcium gummies for the kids!)

Adult Essentials Gummies use only Natural flavours and colours. There is nothing artificial, and no sugar coating.  Adult Essentials Gummies are Gluten free, Nut free and Dairy free.  Adult Essentials is the only entire brand line approved by Health Canada. In 2011, the Adult Essentials Mega, Omega, B-complex, B12 and Vitamin D all won PTPA awards!

As an adult, I know how important it is to take vitamins, and should be doing it daily.....but I have failed. I am not a huge pill person - I have trouble swallowing large pills, and I have yet to find vitamins that go down easy.  Now that I have tried Adult Essentials Gummies - that will change - who can resist eating gummies?

While I have not been taking vitamins daily, I often think that I should start - so on my grocery trips I will sometimes find myself wandering through the vitamin aisle.  I am not going to lie - I find it overwhelming. The shelves are huge, and packed with choices.  I didn't really know where to start - what brand to choose? what type of vitamins to pick up? so I always ended up leaving empty handed.

On my last grocery trip, I took a walk through the section again, and this time it wasn't quite as overwhelming. I knew exactly what I was looking for - and it didn't take me long to locate the Adult Essentials on the shelf.

Adult Essentials Gummy Vitamins are available in 90 ct bottles at most: Rexall Pharma Plus, Metro, Sobeys, Loblaws/Real Canadian Super Stores, London Drugs and Shoppers Drug Mart. They are also available for purchase online at Well.ca in Canada

You can connect with Adult Essentials on facebook, twitter and youtube

Disclosure - I am participating in the Adult Essentials Blogger Outreach program by ShesConnected. I received a supply of vitamins and compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Blogiversary Bash -PlaSmart PlasmaCar Review

Have you ever seen your child light up so much when they see a toy - that it makes your heart sing? That is what happens anytime Julien sees a PlasmaCar. We have seen them many times at Chapters, and he always loves to ride them - but we never brought one home with us.

When I was in contact with PlaSmart and offered the chance to review one - I knew I couldn't pass it up. I was giddy with excitement as I waited for it to arrive, and kept quiet so it would be a surprise for Julien.

Assembly is quite simple - it took my husband very little time to get the PlasmaCar put together. The body of the PlasmaCar is one piece, and you need to attach the back wheels, front wheels and steering column.  It is a really sturdy built unit!

The PlasmaCar is meant for ages 3+ and should always be used under adult supervision; please follow the safety directions that come with the unit.

Julien wasn't home when my husband completed the project - and when he arrived and saw it he was thrilled - his eyes lit right up and he grabbed his helmet and off he went - he took to it immediately and it has been a hit with both the boys ever since - my niece and nephew enjoyed it too...and who am I kidding - I have a blast with it (as does my mom!) with a weight limit of 220lbs on smooth surfaces - it's great for the whole family.

My only complaint - and it's not really a complaint,  is that we need 2 of them - whichever of my kids is using the PlasmaCar - the other one wants it RIGHT NOW..... I think we may need to pick another one up for a birthday gift, and that will avoid the fights.

Thank you to PlaSmart for sending me a PlasmaCar to review - our whole family has had a ton of fun with it!  Don't forget that you can connect with PlaSmart on Facebook and Twitter - feel free to tell them Tales of Mommyhood sent you.

Giveaway has ended
And now for the best part? They are offering one of my readers the chance to win their very own PlasmaCar! Use the rafflecopter form below to enter for your chance (please note, other bloggers are not eligible to win).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Julien's 5th birthday party and Charming Celebrations

A huge thank you to Charming Celebrations for helping my son have a terrific super hero party!

A few months ago I was looking for someone to help out with making some decorations and a banner for the party, and I was able to connect with Amber from Charming Celebrations on twitter.  We chatted a bit and she told me what she could provide, and we went ahead with the order.

All of the party goods arrived last Friday (I asked for them to be delivered by July 4th at the latest, and they came in on June 29).  They were packaged up in a box, and the items were wrapped in tissue paper - no damage to the items!

Included in our party package were:

- super hero banner (a mix of superman and batman)

- cupcake wrappers (we didn't have cupcakes, so I used these for the kids to play pin the superhero on a spiderman poster)

- cupcake toppers (again, no cupcakes, but we used them for clues in our scavenger hunt game - the kids loved it!)

- favor bags (we had 5 superman, and 5 batman)

- centerpiece items (two #5's, a batman and a superman, as well as some smaller ones with the bat logo and superman logo)

Amber was really easy to work with, and the items that arrived were great quality; I was impressed with the decorations and my son was happy with them, which was the most important part.

spidey kyle

Julien and his friends had a lot of fun. When they arrived, the kids played outside in the backyard and on the playstructure for 20 minutes or so, then we came inside and did pin the superhero on spiderman (my nephew won that - so he got a kinder egg!). When that was done, the kids headed to the table and got to colour a superhero picture to take home (and thanks to crayola wonder, I had no mess on my table). When they finished colouring, we had cake

the Batman Cake I made for Jules - chocolate cake with a layer of vanilla ice cream in the middle

I think it is safe to say he likes the cake
and afterwards they went on a scavenger hunt.  They had to find clues, and the clues eventually led them to a treasure chest my hubby had built. Inside the chest was a whole bunch of loot, and they were able to choose what they wanted and fill their favour bags with them! This killed some time and the kids had fun. When they were finished filling their bags, they played in the backyard a little while longer until their parents arrived.

Don't forget to check out Charming Celebrations on Etsy, twitter and on Facebook!

I was provided the above supplies free of charge in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated belong to Tales of Mommyhood - your opinion and experience may vary.

food and memories associated with it

As the anniversary of my dads death approaches, I am reminded of that night.  My cousin and I had walked down to an ice cream store and each bought an ice cream cone.  My favorite flavour at the time was mint chocolate chip.  As we walked home, eating our ice cream I started to feel sick - so sick, that I threw the ice cream cone away (and for anyone that knew me then - knew this was odd, I would continue eating ice cream even if I felt sick, never would I waste it)

As we reached my street, a car pulled up and my mom flew out of it - and she practically shoved my cousin in with the driver (who was a friend of my moms, but my cousin didn't know the person).  My mom needed to find me before I got home, because she didn't want me arriving home and seeing police, fire and ambulance in front of our house.

My father had died. It was a very surreal experience, and I am sure that is why I felt sick - it was as if I had been punched in the stomach.....something I haven't felt since that event.  It was a very long time before I could eat mint chip ice cream again.....I tried once or twice, but would end up feeling ill and just not able to take more than 1 or 2 bites.  It has been 17 years (almost) since he died, and in the last year I have finally been able to enjoy mint chip again.

It just amazes me how the brain associates certain things. When I was a little girl, I ended up with a stomach flu. The last thing I had eaten before getting sick, was mint brownies....for over 10 years I couldn't eat a mint brownie because it reminded me of that flu I had as a kid......

Do you have any memories (good or bad) associated with food?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#GrUVyWear swimwear

Growing up, I can remember spending hours at the outdoor pool near our house.  I also remember the serious sunburns that I often suffered. These burns were so bad, that 25 years later I STILL remember the pain that went along with them - and yes, my mother did send me to the pool with sunscreen.

Now that I am a mom, it is really important to me that I help to ensure my boys are well protected from the suns rays.  I make sure to (liberally) apply sunscreen before we head outdoors, and I also reapply every 2-3 hours, or after they are in the water. Something that I only recently found out though, is that your clothing is generally not good at blocking out the UV rays.  Really, you should be applying sunscreen UNDER your clothing as well.

I was thrilled when I was offered the opportunity to review swim wear from GrUVyWear - they offer UV protection swim wear for babies, kids and adults. The swim wear will block 98% of the suns rays, while offering a UPF of 50+.

I was sent a suit for a toddler, but when it arrived - I was happy to find that both my kids would be able to wear the outfit.  It is slightly big on my youngest, but it fits my 5 year old perfectly. The outfits are available in a number of colours and prints, and also come in long or short sleeves.  I am happy knowing that when the boys are in their GrUVyWear - I can be sure that their unexposed skin will also be protected from the UV rays.

Kyle posing in his GrUVyWear suit

Julien showing off the same suit

GrUVyWear is offering my readers a 15% off discount code - enter SAVE1508 at checkout (this code will expire on July 15, 2012) and remember to connect with them on facebook and twitter also!

I was sent the above product free of charge in exchange for this post. This did not influence my review, and the opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood;  your experience/opinion may vary.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Charming Celebrations - Sponsor Spotlight

A few months ago, I connected with Amber of Charming Celebrations on twitter. I was looking to find someone to work with for my sons birthday party, and she was eager to help me out.  Check out her etsy shop for some awesome party decorations - great ideas for different themes too!

Charming Celebrations is located in the United States, and is a relatively new etsy seller. If your looking for items for an upcoming birthday party - please head over and check her out!

This is a sponsor spotlight - the above mentioned has provided me with items free of charge in exchange for a post and review. 

Blogiversary Bash starts today!

Tales of Mommyhood is coming up on it's 4th blogiversary (August 9) - amazing to think that this blog started out as a way to track Julien's growth and development, funny stories and pictures - and here we are 4 years later and it has grown much more than I ever thought.  I kind of fell into the world of reviews and giveaways in March 2011 and haven't looked back since.

It has led me into some wonderful opportunities with brands I hadn't heard of, or never dreamed I would get to work with. It has led me to some great friendships, and it also led the way to me becoming an Independent Norwex Consultant (thanks to Amanda at Multi-Testing Mommy for introducing me to the products!)

What better way to celebrate a blogiversary than with a giveaway bash? Over the next few weeks, I will be hosting a few giveaways - so keep checking in!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

He turned 5 today

today is my oldest sons birthday - he is a whole hand now.  I think back to when he was born, and the rough start he had to life and am so thankful that he is here with us.  I was induced early due to pre-eclampsia, and our little guy was born at approx. 36weeks gestation. He was a great size - 6lbs 3oz and he was a fighter from the start.

He was transferred to our local children's hospital at 24 hrs old because his breathing wgetting worse (he had issues with his lungs because he was early). When my hubby got to the hospital he found out they needed to intubate our baby as he wasn't able to get enough air on his own, and they had to insert a chest tube in his right lung as it had collapsed. Over the next few days, his other lung started to develop an air pocket but it fixed itself, and the first one healed as well.  When he was 10days old, he was released from the hospital and has done amazingly well.

His start in life

And today

Happy birthday Julien - love you so much!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

T-fal baby home GIVEAWAY

t-fal disney  
As parents, we all want our children to have a healthy diet. With busy schedules and hectic lives, this isn't always the easiest task. With the costs of buying organic foods not being in everyone’s budget, feeding your growing family may pose a challenge. I’ve teamed up with a fabulous group of bloggers and T-fal Baby Home to help one lucky Canadian reader make this a cinch.
This past May T-fal introduced Baby Home, a series of appliances developed to help making healthy meals for your baby easier. The line is BPA-free and features Disney’s Pooh Bear and friends. The products within the line are the 2 in 1 steamer and blender; a steam sterilizer; a bottle and jar warmer and a 2 in 1 bottle warmer and sterilizer.

WIN: The prize pack T-fal Baby Home has provided us is simply amazing and valued over $230!! One Canadian resident will receive the following two products:

The 2 in 1 Blender and Steamer: $129.99

The Baby Home blender/steamer combo features four settings: steam, heat, defrost, and purée,that make it possible to treat even the tiniest taste buds to fresh, nutritious, homemade food in as little as ten minutes! The innovation however, brings more than just convenience to the table by allowing parents to:
  • provide their baby with healthier and tastier alternatives to store-bought food through steaming, which locks in essential vitamins and flavours minus the additives and preservatives
  • exercise quality control, ensuring that only the freshest fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats go into their baby’s food
  • prepare organic baby food at a fraction of the price of manufactured organic food
  • expose their baby to a variety of different foods and combinations not customarily sold in stores, which helps to set them on the path to a lifetime of healthy choices
  • transition their baby onto the next feeding stage more easily by gradually increasing the texture of their baby’s food over time for a seamless switch from purées to big kid fare!
The blender/steamer features a graduated blending bowl that stays cool to the touch, eliminating the risk of burns, and a double locking system ensures that it only works when the lid is in place. A recipe book and feeding guide are also included.

2 in 1 Bottle Warmer and Sterilizer: $99.99

Ideal for travelers, the Baby Home steam sterilizer and bottle warmer are also available as a convenient 2 in 1 unit that performs both operations simultaneously. With the capacity to sterilize one bottle and its accessories in six and a half minutes and heat it in three—bottles can be ready faster than it takes Pooh to get to the bottom of a honey pot. Giveaway is open to residents of Canada 18+, winner will be drawn on July 17th and have 48 hours to respond. Simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below to enter!