Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Christmas

Christmas Tree
picture copyright of Kerwin Lewis

Christmas has come and gone now, and I have been away from Tales of Mommyhood. I decided to let go of the computer for a few days of much needed, and enjoyed, family time.

We had a wonderful Christmas eve celebration with my family at my mothers house; when we came home we said goodbye to our elf, Zolly and put out milk and cookies for Santa. We then read Twas the Night Before Christmas (a tradition before bed on Christmas Eve). The boys were very happy when they awoke in the morning to find that Santa had been, and Zolly had gone (they were a little sad with that, but happy that Santa picked her up and took her back to the North Pole with him).

After gifts were opened we enjoyed a nice breakfast and played with some of the new toys. A visit with my brother and his family, and then off for supper at hubby's parents house with them and his grandfather.

I sincerely hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas with those you are close to; it is always slightly sad for me as I miss my dad - he was a big Christmas nut and it saddens me that my kids don't get to create memories with him...but I treasure the memories I have from my childhood.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Do you have any Christmas traditions?  We have a few.

Every year, we head out to the other end of the city to drive down Taffy Lane. Taffy Lane is a street that goes NUTS at Christmas - almost every house on the street gets decked out with lights, ornaments and decorations.

This year, we drove out and did 2 tours of the street (hard to take it ALL in with just one pass); then we drove through the downtown core to see the tree's lit up and the snowflakes on Parliament Hill.

When we got home, the boys spent some time outside with hubby going down the slide in the front yard.

Some pictures from our evening

I would love to hear what some of your traditions are!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Artwork from my 2 year old

This morning, my 2 year old decided that it would be fun to throw a bottle of OPEN red nail polish down the stairs.

the lovely addition to our home

The first thing I did was take a picture; then I laughed, then I cried and then I tried to clean it.  Then I gave up and had a shower and attempted again, failing.

While I watched my 2 yr old trying to scrub at the carpet, I suddenly realized how lucky I am.  I have a loving family, a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear and presents to be put under our Christmas tree.  I have TWO beautiful, delightful, mischievous children. They are safe, they are healthy and they are with me.

making him clean his mess (attempt anyways)

After recent events, and regular everyday tragedies and illness, I am lucky.  I am lucky that my 2 yr old is with me; while I am not happy that I have this piece of art on my wall/carpet at the moment, in the grand scheme of things it is nothing....absolutely nothing compared to what others are dealing with right now.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rudolph cake

Growing up, my mom always made cakes for us to bring to school during the holidays (halloween, christmas, easter) and while my sons school doesn't allow sweets brought in, the nursery school did!

Here is a picture of a cake I made for their Christmas party last year

Friday, December 14, 2012

Safe Kids Worldwide Sanus Report Child Deaths Injuries from TV Tip-overs

One Child Dies Every Three Weeks from a TV Tipping Over
When your children are first mobile it is pretty standard to "baby proof" your home; you put up baby gates, utilize the plug covers etc.  Something that a lot of parents overlook doing however is making sure that book cases, entertainment units, dressers and tv's are bolted to the wall or some other support system.

These are all items that are heavy and could seriously injure your child, but isn't something that most people think about - I know I didn't.

December 13, 2012 – Washington /PRNewswire/ — A new report released today by Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS revealed that every three weeks, a child dies from a television tipping over and nearly 13,000 more children are injured each year in the U.S. This represents a 31 percent increase in TV tip-over-related injuries over the last ten years.

The report also revealed that three out of four parents don’t secure their TV to the wall. Most families are unaware that securing a TV is an important safety measure. Others decide not to mount their TVs because of concerns about damaging the wall or installing the TV incorrectly.

“You wouldn’t think to bring a baby home from the hospital without a car seat or have your child ride a bike without a helmet,” said Carr. “Mounting your TV will protect your TV, and most important, your child.”

To read more go to

 This is a sponsored post - opinion stated belongs to Tales of Mommyhood; yours may vary

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Aviva Community Fund charity contest - who will be the finalists?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aviva Community Fund for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Aviva 2

The Aviva Community Fund charity contest has just wrapped up the semi-finals and finalists will be announced on December 17th. Judging will then take place starting on December 20th, with the Grand-prize winning ideas being announced on January 29th, 2013.

Once the ideas were submitted, voting was open to the Canadian public. To vote, all you needed to do was register on the Aviva Community Fund website (either through the website itself or by using your facebook account).  You have 15 votes per round, and you may vote on as many ideas as you like - although you may only vote for each idea once per day (votes also can't be taken back once they have been cast, so make sure you use them exactly how you want to)

One of the school's in my community submitted an idea for a playground (right now, they have a large area of sand, but no playground for the kids) that is the idea that I  supported because it is in my home-town; kids need a place to play. What were some of your favorite ideas - did you vote for them?

 You can stay updated  Like Aviva Community Fund or Follow @Aviva

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Visit Sponsor's Site

Metro's Holiday Party Planning Tips - Hostessing made easy!

Hubby and I like to entertain - we throw a Christmas party every year and try and host at least 1 other large gathering (normally Canada Day). Metro has provided me with a list of tips to help make YOUR holiday entertaining easier - read on!

Holiday Party Planning: 10 Tips for Festive Fun!

From decking the halls to trimming the tree and preparing your feast, holiday party planning can be exhausting! Metro has some stress-free tips to make your party the talk of the town! We've done the research and put together a list of need-to-know tips and techniques for an effortlessly unforgettable get-together.

Creative serving – Instead of communal bowls of nuts, try a more eye catching and hygienic presentation by putting snacks in clear-glass, narrow-necked decanters. Guests can pour nut and trail mixes themselves, and it looks great, too!

Stagger serving times – If all food is served at the start of the night, guests are likely to gorge and go home early. Keep your party hopping by serving your tasty hors d’oeuvres all night long.

Impress with a signature cocktail - Channel your inner mixologist and offer guests a unique signature cocktail for your holiday party. Be sure to have other non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages to offer alongside this cocktail.

Prep in advance – The ‘day of’ for the party planner is always hectic! Between set up, last minute errands, and wrangling the kids – stress is high. Try prepping what you can a few days before. Things like fruit trays, cheese and cracker platters and Swedish meatballs can all be put together a day or two in advance.

Presentation is everything – When preparing food trays and hors d’oeuvres platters, have fun! Use the Canadian winter landscape as inspiration by placing pinecones and frosted pine needles in your tray display.
Fast and fancy – Limited time? Solicit the help of the frozen food aisle! Metro’s private label line, Irresistibles, offers delicious appetizers perfect for party planners, with selection and creativity covered.

Tidy as you go – No one likes waking up to a mess, by tidying bit by bit during your party, the house will be kept clean for your guests, too!

Set the ambiance – A beautiful candle display can never go wrong at a holiday party

Provide plenty of options – Be sure to provide an assortment of appetizer options at your holiday bash to keep all types of appetites full and happy!

Enjoy yourself – This is your party, too! You've worked hard and it’s important to enjoy the environment, interact with your guests and taste your delicious treats!

I already follow most of these tips, what about you?

A big thank you to Metro for providing me with the awesome gift basket filled with fruit cake, cookies, treats, maple butter, crackers and a gift card - all to help with my holiday entertaining this year!

Bond 50

Do you have a James Bond fan in your family? This might be a great Christmas gift for them - check it out



Sales Announcement Caps off Year-Long Golden Anniversary Celebration

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced today that BOND 50 is the bestselling Blu-ray box set of 2012 with projected worldwide sales totaling $50 million in consumer spend to date. The unprecedented 23-disc premium collection features all 22 classic films on stunning Blu-ray for the first time and more than 122 hours of bonus features. The highly collectable box set was released on September 24 in the United Kingdom and September 25 in North America; additional international markets followed through October.

The BOND 50 box set release was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebration of the Bond franchise in 2012. The year-long campaign launched globally at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, included a first of a kind exhibit of Bond vehicles at San Diego Comic-Con, the re-release of Dr. No in U.S. movie theaters and a Roger Moore International press day before culminating with the “007 Days of Bond: the Blu-relay Tour” throughout the UK.

“The Bond franchise is alive and stronger than ever as evidenced by the spectacular sales of the BOND 50 box set,” said Michael Brown, Executive Vice President, Marketing, MGM. “BOND 50 has become an instant collector’s item and a must have for any Bond fan this holiday season.” Debuting just prior to the theatrical premiere of SKYFALL, the BOND 50 box set includes an additional space for that Blu-ray when it is released next year.

Debuting just prior to the theatrical premiere of SKYFALL, the BOND 50 box set includes an additional space for that Blu-ray when it is released next year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dempster's English Muffins - #BreakfastReady

I am a fan of simple, quick breakfasts for most mornings. I don't mind making a fancy breakfast on the weekend, but on weekdays I like easy. Dempster's English Muffins are a great way to start the day - with so many ways of eating them.

My favorite way to eat them is toasted with butter; the butter melts into all the nooks and crannys on the english muffin - YUM!  Another way I like to eat them is toasted with a poached egg and slice of bacon on top (but that's more on the weekend).

Dempster's English Muffins are available plain, whole wheat, cinnamon raisin

What about you - how do you like to eat your Dempster's English Muffin? Leave me a comment telling me and use the Rafflecopter form below to enter for your chance to win 4 FPC's (2 winners). Giveaway only open to Canada and closes on December 18th.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Boogie Wipes - Review and Giveaway

Cold and Flu season is upon us and I am sure you can all relate to the yucky feelings that come along with these illnesses -  the sore throat, congestion and sore/raw nose as a result of using tissue often.  I have just recently been introduced to Boogie Wipes.

Boogie Wipes are saline moistened wipes; instead of using your regular tissue brand for wiping/blowing your nose you would use boogie wipes (geared for kids, but anyone can use them). The saline helps to keep your nose from becoming raw and sore.

About Little Busy Bodies 
The first-ever saline nose wipe called Boogie Wipes® was developed as a solution for the creator’s kids’ sore, red, stuffy noses. Using their business backgrounds and mompreneurial spirit, they formed Little Busy Bodies Inc. in May 2007. After an intensive research and development process—hiring a chemist, surveying consumers and interviewing manufacturers—in December 2007 they sold their first pack of Boogie Wipes. The company’s products are now sold in 50,000 retail stores across the U.S. including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Costco and Rite Aid. Their international growth in 2010 fueled a 200% sales increase and $6.5M in sales.  (they are also available in Canada)

Boogie Wipes are available Unscented, Menthol, Grape and Fresh scent; you can purchase online or from a retailer near you (Toys R Us and Walmart are two of the many retailers).

I was thrilled to try these out with my boys - much gentler on their sensitive little noses and really easy to use. I have even used them on myself because I, as I write this, am dealing with a head cold.

Now for the giveaway. One of my lucky readers is going to get the chance to try out Boogie Wipes! Use the rafflecopter form below to enter for your chance to win. Open to Canada and USA

Mint Topped Chocolate Cookies

A few years ago a friend of mine posted this recipe (not sure of original source) and it looked so good, that I couldn't pass up making it.

I was NOT disappointed and it became a favorite of mine - super easy to make, tastes good and your guests will thank you!

How to make mint chocolate chip cookies

What you need: 

1 pkg Devils Food Chocolate Cake Mix
2 eggs                              
1/2 cup shortening
1 TBS water
1/2 cup icing sugar (for rolling)
thin mints for topping

Makes approx. 40 cookies

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, shortening and water;  use dough to form 1" balls and then roll in the icing sugar;  place 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake in oven (pre-heated to 350 degrees) for 8-10 minutes; remove from oven and immediately place thin mint on top of each cookie; then place cookies on a cooling rack

Monday, December 10, 2012

House hunting and curb appeal

Eight years ago or so, we started looking to buy our first house. It was a really exciting time for us, and we actually only looked at 4 houses. The first house we looked at was really not that great – it had a decent amount of property and was somewhat out in the country, but it just needed way too much work and I wasn't happy with the floor plan. We then looked at another one (all the windows were shot and the house felt “empty”) When we found our current home, I knew immediately that it was the house for us. The moment I walked in the door, it just felt right.

One of the great things about the house was the curb appeal; the yard was maintained well and the windows and doors were in good shape; the garage door was also in great shape.  This all adds up to the external aesthetics of the house – which is really important to me.  We have since replaced our garage door, and we also had to buy a new opener and the springs went on the new door a few years later – but that’s all part of wear and tear.  To see some of the great styles that are available now check out garage doors in Brampton – my favorite style is with the glass panels along the top row – what is your favorite style of door?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stocking Stuffer -GIVEAWAY

Christmas is a time of year that is filled with treats; holiday baking, specially crafted sweet treats available in the stores, candy canes and more.

Santa loves to throw in some treats to the kids stockings, but how about something to help out with oral care?  Nothing wrong with enjoying the sweetness as long as your also taking care of your teeth/gums.  Plackers is celebrating their 40th anniversary right now and want you to join in!

They want to help ensure that you and your family are treating your mouth's right and are offering up a prize pack to one of my readers. The prize pack consists of a 6 month supply of Plackers Kids Flossers (pretty cool, berry flavored and they come in animal shapes so they appeal to kids) as well as an assortment of flossers for the whole family to use.

This giveaway is open to both Canada and US; use the rafflecopter form below to enter.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Exploring our beautiful Country

Canada has so many wonderful cities that are filled with beautiful scenery, history and culture.  I haven’t done much traveling in my life, and while I would love to visit other countries (Ireland is at the top of my list) there is so much here in Canada to explore that I want to focus on taking in all that my home has to offer. 

I have visited the Maritimes and cannot wait until the boys are a few years older to head out that way again; the first time I was in Halifax was for a family reunion when I was 10 years old. I remember visiting the harbor, taking the ferry over to PEI to visit L.M. Montgomery’s house (Anne of Green Gables was my favorite book growing up) and also wandering around Peggy’s Cove.   I have not had the chance to make it out West though, and Vancouver and Calgary are top on my list.  I would love to experience the Calgary Stampede and visit the Zoo, maybe make a trek out to Banff and see for myself how beautiful it is.

When I travel, I like to stay in a suite whenever possible. As much as eating out is wonderful – it can also get expensive and tiring after a few days. Having a full service kitchen to at least make a sandwich in is a huge plus for me and executive suites in Calgary has everything I look for when I am researching accommodations.    

At the moment we have no immediate travel plans; Mr. K is a complete disaster in terms of sleep when he isn't in his crib which kind of makes planning vacations a little difficult. We are hoping that once he is in a bed it will be a little easier for us to have family trips away and create some wonderful memories for us and the boys. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Rice Krispies Treats

As part of the Kellogger's program, I receive gift boxes filled with yummy treats. The latest box included the makings for holiday treats.

1 box Rice Krispies, 1 box Vanilla Rice Krispies, icing, cake sparkles and the makings for  some delicious treats!

Mr. J hard at work decorating while Mr. K watched
 The boys and I set to work - I did the stove work (you can make them in the microwave, but I prefer the stove top method). Once the mixture had cooled enough to work with, we made a few shaped treats.
our finished products: the 3 of us worked on the present, the left stocking was Mr. K's and the right Mr. J's

What is your FAVORITE Rice Krispies treat? Do you like them plain or prefer a variation?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Growing up, My Little Pony was a favorite of mine. I enjoyed watching the show, and I even had some of the pony toys at home to play with.  I was really excited when Mr. J and I discovered that there had been a new version created. He likes to watch the show, so when I had the opportunity to review the Season One DVD - I jumped at the chance.

It is a 4 disc DVD collection which features all 26 episodes from Season One, as well as bonus features of Sing Along's, Printable coloring sheets and Brand new audio commentaries with cast and crew.

Shout! Factory Kids, in Collaboration with Hasbro Studios,  will be releasing My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (season one) EXCLUSIVELY on December 4th. The SRP is $34.99 - it is available to order now.

If your kids are fans of Twilight Sparkle,  Rainbow Dash, Apple Jack and the other ponies, you won't want to miss out on this 4 Disc DVD collection!

We haven't had a chance to watch ALL of the episodes yet, but he loves learning about Friendship through the Ponyville ponies!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas shopping is now upon us - I have put together a 2012 gift guide - included below you will find some of my favorite products (some of them I have received for review, and others are items that myself or my family really like - and yours may too!)

Pamper Me Gifts
I am a Norwex Independent Representative and they have a great line of personal care products - below are a few pamper me products I love
awesome stocking stuffer - leaves your lips wonderfully smooth

leaves your skin feeling silky smooth (if you use it shaving, such silky smooth legs!)

For the car enthusiast

clean your car  WITHOUT soap!

For the Kids

We had the pleasure of reviewing a Plasmacar - it is probably at the top of my list for holiday gifts; it's fun for the whole family and definitely worth the price.

Nothing says “winter” like a snowy winter wonderland! Sub-zero heroes Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon a high-seas adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they try to reunite with their herd. In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny, and the herd encounters a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home.

Do your kids like books? What better than to personalize one for them - check out the I See Me books

Gift Cards


Edible Gifts

Buy amazing, small batch specialty food directly from artisan food producers across Canada. Find something perfect for the foodie on your list, like gourmet peanut butter from Vancouver's Monkey Butter or 100% wild blueberry juice from PEI. Check out!