Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CLOSED Runner Runner #giveaway CAN/US 1/12

Runner Runner will be released on January 7th to Blu ray and DVD. Have you seen it yet? Now is your chance to enter to win a copy.

2013 Re-Cap

Here is a re-cap of some of my most popular posts from 2013.  A few recipes, a few DIY posts and a review - oh, and can't forget the lilac thief also.

Have a look at the posts below, which one is your fav?

10) How To Make an Indoor Sandbox
9) DIY Christmas Wreath
8) The Best Shortbread Cookies
7) Great Gift Ideas For Teachers
6) Mint Topped Chocolate Cookies
5) Caramel Cream Cheese Apple Dip
4) Peanut Butter Balls
3) The Lilac thief strikes
2) Green Beaver Sunscreen Review

AND - the top post of the year

1) Home made pizza crust with SteamWhistle Beer

and below you will find a list of MY favorite posts from 2013 (not in any particular order)

Monday, December 30, 2013

What Do Kellogg's Cereals and The Sun Have In Common?

Can you guess what it is? Hint: what does the sun give us? Vitamin D! Yep - that's right - Kellogg's has added Vitamin D to 13 of their most loved cereals (including Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes and Corn Pops), to help us get the very important D that most of us are lacking.

I remember when my kids were born, it was stressed that they needed a Vitamin D supplement since I was nursing. I did a little research, and found that most adults are lacking in their Vitamin D. The sun is the most natural source for it. Spending time outdoors is a great way to absorb it naturally from the suns rays, however in the winter with the angle of the sun, the rays just don't reach us here in Canada like they do in the summer.  Adding a supplement or increasing your intake of foods rich with Vitamin D is a great substitute for those months.
Winter Sunshine Package from Kellogg's
 As a Kellogger, I was sent a special "Winter Sunshine Package". It was a nice surprise when it showed up on my door! The kids and I were excited to open it, and we found a few boxes of the new Vitamin D fortified cereals, as well as a really cool sun alarm.

The sun alarm acts as an alarm clock, and approximately 30 minutes before you set the wake up time, the "sunshine" starts. It starts off slow and the light increases, to try and help you wake up naturally.  I have been using it for a few weeks now and find that I am much more awake when I first get up than I was before.  Kind of like in the summer when I wake because of the light coming in the windows. Much better than the groggy feeling when you awaken to a loud alarm.

As a mom, I am happy to know that when I pour their morning bowl of Rice Krispies or Special K, and add in 1/2 cup of milk that they are now getting 45% of the amount of Vitamin D that Health Canada recommends. The cereal, some fruit and yogurt and they have a great breakfast in their belly to start the day.

In addition to the Vitamin D fortified cereals, to make up the rest of the recommended daily intake you can take a Vitamin D supplement or add in other fortified foods to make the difference (certain fish and egg yolk are natural sources, milk and margarine are also fortified sources)

It is reported that over 85% of Canadian children do NOT meet the recommended daily amount of Vitamin D - and only 68% of Canadians have sufficient levels to keep their bones healthy. Does your family get enough Vitamin D?

**As a Kellogger I receive special packages from Kellogg's. The opinion expressed belongs to Tales of Mommyhood and your experience/opinion may vary. Read the Tales of Mommyhood Disclosure policy.**

December 30 Giveaway Linky

Feel free to list any open giveaways you have. Please ensure that you list the prize, end date and eligibility (WW, CAN, CAN/US etc) without these, your entry will be deleted. Tweeting out the linky will add more exposure for everyone, so please help share.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Keeping My Feet Warm With Baffin Boots

Well folks, it is that time of year again. The time my children love - gearing up and spending time playing outside in the snow. Forts, snowball fights, snowmen and of course - the street famous toboggan run in our front yard fill our days with lots of outdoor playtime - which means lots of snow and lots of cold.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day Shopping

Are you the type that braves the malls on Boxing Day looking for the best deals? or do you stay home snug and warm with your family?

Growing up I used to head out with my mom and dad if they were shopping, but as I got older I stopped - I really dislike crowds and line ups (which is why I try to be finished my shopping by December 1st).

Now, we stay home on boxing day and the kids play with their new toys. I tend to start taking the Christmas stuff down so that we have ROOM for their new toys.

If the weather is nice, we will play outside - otherwise when they get tired of playing we will throw on a new movie!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

DIY Christmas Canvas - Handprint Christmas Tree

Mr. J is the bottom row and top print, Mr. K is the middle ones
I was searching for a Christmas craft that I could do with the boys. One that would stand up and last for many years to come.  The first place I searched, of course, was pinterest.

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours

Photo (c) Kerwin Lewis
Merry Christmas from our family to yours. I hope your Christmas is filled with lots of love, family, friends and delicious food to eat.

**Yes, Mr. K is holding a red sweater.  It is his "lovey" he somehow became attached to one of my sweaters and it is now his comfort item. Some kids have a doll, teddy bear or blanket - Mr. K has a sweater and it was only fitting it join us in our family picture, as he has it with him almost all times at home**

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Traditions

cookies and milk all set for Santa, and of course Carrots for the Reindeer
Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions in your house?  The "day" is pretty much any other day for us, but in the late afternoon we head to my moms to exchange our gifts, and then the rest of my moms family (all her siblings and their children) come over for a buffet dinner.

Santa Visit 2013

2013 Santa visit at Hazeldean Mall - Ky was
 a little nervous, but no tears
Every year since Mr. J was born, we have done the traditional mall Santa visit.  Some years we have gone to Bayshore, other years to Carlingwood and this year to our local mall.  When we have gone, it has never really been busy - the max wait was 10 minutes (and that was when Mr. J was young and in a stroller) otherwise it has been super quick. (one of the nice things about being a SAHM, we can get there during off peak hours and not worry!)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

We Love Our Elf, But It's OK if You Don't

This is a little bit of a rant...so please forgive me but it's been driving me nuts.

When the Elf on the Shelf first came out, I thought it was ridiculous. Why would you buy an elf to get your kids to behave?  But after seeing different things on facebook and pinterest with the elves in hiding places and what not, I thought ok - my kids would probably have a lot of fun with this.

So, Zolly arrived last year and has been a lot of fun for the kids, and hubby and I have fun finding different places for her to hide.

So if I am happy with our elf - you are probably wondering about the rant? Here goes - what really bugs me is when I hear parents complaining about the elf and they have to do this and have to do that. Well - you don't HAVE to do anything. No one is forcing you to have an elf. If you do have one, I can only assume that you bought it, therefore it was YOUR choice to bring it into your house.

No one is making you find funny places for your elf to hide, or making you come up with cute things for them to do (angels in flour/sugar, marshmallow baths etc) that is all a choice you are making. If you don't want to do it - then don't do it.  If you haven't introduced the elf, nothing says you need to. If you have, then the elf could always leave a note for the kids that they were needed back at the North Pole early and won't be returning - it's completely up to YOU how it plays out. So decide what you want to do for your family, and stop complaining about it.

That's my rant

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Candy Cane Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Dippers

A few weeks ago I saw a post on pinterest about Candy Cane Marshmallow Dippers. It seemed like such a great, simple idea that I decided we would make them for the teachers and bus drivers this year.  We gathered all of our needed items
  • candy canes
  • marshmallows
  • chocolate chips
  • crushed candy canes
  • cello bags
  • hot chocolate packs
Step 1: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Step 2: Place end of candy cane through (not all the way, but almost) a large marshmallow
having a cute little helper is great!

Step 3: Melt chocolate chips (you could use white or chocolate, or even candy melts) over a double boiler

Step 4: Dip bottom of marshmallow into melted chocolate

Step 5: Roll chocolate covered marshmallow in crushed candy cane (you could also use sprinkles, or leave them plain)

Step 6: Place back on parchment paper and set in fridge for a little while

Step 7: Place finished product in a cello bag, add a package of hot chocolate and tie closed!

A simple, affordable and creative gift idea that is sure to be enjoyed!  Mr. J was able to help with it, and he really enjoyed making something for his teachers!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Cake for Grade 1

This year Mr. J picked a Santa and his sleigh pan for his Christmas cake. The grade 1's are having a Christmas presentation Wednesday afternoon, followed up by a party in their classroom.  This is our contribution to the party

Mr. K has chosen a frosty pan for his class celebration, so that is up next on my list of things to do....hopefully tomorrow!

CLOSED Disney On Ice - 100 Years of Magic #GIVEAWAY

Show Description
"Join the celebration as more than 60 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!  You’ll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and many Disney Princesses.  Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King; Mulan; and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story films; in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you’ll remember forever as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!"

Saturday, December 14, 2013

His First REAL Purchase

Late last summer, Mr. J spent some time with his cousins.  They both have Nintendo DS systems, and he decided he wanted one.  He asked me if we would buy him one.  My answer - NO.  I told him if he wanted one, he would have to save up the money for it and could buy it himself.

Christmas Ornaments

One of my absolute favorite things about Christmas is decorating the Christmas tree.  I have memories going back to when I was a kid, gathered in the living room with lights, garland and ornaments surrounding us. Christmas music playing in the background and drinking hot chocolate.

My parents never had a "themed" tree. My mom collected ornaments and whether she bought them or was given, all had a special meaning.  Her love of ornaments rubbed off on me, and I started collecting them not long before we bought our first home.

The first ornament I purchased for our tree the first year we lived here was a round ball ornament, and I had my fathers name put onto it.  Unfortunately, it got broken 2 years ago (I was pretty heartbroken about it); Santa however managed to find a small personalized bell/ball ornament with his name on it, and it made it's way into my stocking that year. Not the same as the one I bought, but makes me happy to see it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Picking The Perfect Flooring For Your Home

When hubby and I were first looking at houses, one of the things we were hoping to find in THE house was hardwood flooring. Unfortunately that wasn't so.  Our home has carpet in the living and dining rooms, and tile in the kitchen, bathroom and hallway.  Our upstairs family room and all bedrooms also have carpet.  While we would love to change our floors now, we are going to wait until the kids are a little older, and then we hope to replace with hardwood.  Read a little about hardwood flooring below.

When it comes to choosing the right flooring option for your home, it's often best to stick with the classics. Picking a flooring style that is timeless and will also be in trend is a great way to justify the investment and enjoy your room for years to come.  When it comes to timeless style and flooring options, the best choice is hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring has always been a popular flooring choice and will more than likely always be a popular choice. The natural beauty of hardwood flooring and durability make it a wise investment, and the large number of colors and styles makes finding one that speaks to your design preferences even easier.

Visit any local Flooring America and see the large number of hardwood flooring options that exist, just to see what we're talking about.  It's often a stressful burden finding the best flooring for your home, but it doesn't have to be.  Here are just a few benefits of hardwood flooring:

  • Hardwood flooring is durable.
  • Hardwood flooring is timeless.
  • Hardwood flooring is easy to clean.
  • Hardwood flooring can add to the property value of your home.
  • Hardwood flooring is sustainable.
  • Hardwood flooring is hypoallergenic.
If you're looking for unsurpassed beauty and value, consider adding hardwood flooring to your home today!

Read the Tales of Mommyhood disclosure policy

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Transformers Prime Seasons 1, 2 and 3

Just in time for Christmas, Transformers Prime Seasons 1, 2 and 3 arrive in stores on DVD. Available December 3rd at Walmart and Target, you can pick up these great DVD's to include under the tree or in your child's stocking.

Mr. J is a fan of Transformers Prime and since he loves to watch his shows over and over, will be thrilled when he finds the DVD's on Christmas morning.

Also available is Rescue Bots: Griffin Rock Rescue - this is great for Mr. K (do you see a theme for him this year) since it is his favorite show at the moment. We now have a DVD with 5 Rescue Bots episodes. Available for purchase at Walmart and Target ARV $14.93

View more items in Tales of Mommyhood's Holiday Gift Guide!

DK Canada Gift Boutique

This year for Christmas I was stuck on what to get my nephew (soon to be 7 years old). I figured I would get him lego, but I wasn't sure what exactly to get.  I was browsing the DK Canada website and saw their gift boutique.  I had a look around to see if anything piqued my interest and came across this great Lego brickmaster set.  It is geared for children 7 and up

It comes as a story with the accompanying Lego bricks to build the characters IN the story.  It seemed really neat, and I am hoping that he likes it!

Lego Brickmaster Cover
neat tips throughout the book to help them
Instruction for building the characters laid out step by step

Will you be buying any Lego this Christmas? Who will it be for?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Pirate Fairy

About The Pirate Fairy
From the world of “Peter Pan” comes “The Pirate Fairy,” a swashbuckling new adventure about Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks), a smart and ambitious dust-keeper fairy who’s captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. When Zarina’s wild ideas get her into trouble, she flees Pixie Hollow and joins forces with the scheming pirates of Skull Rock, who make her captain of their ship. Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman) and her friends must embark on an epic adventure to find Zarina, and together they go sword-to-sword with the band of pirates led by a cabin boy named James (voice of Tom Hiddleston), who’ll soon be known as Captain Hook himself. With laughter, heart, magic and thrills, “The Pirate Fairy” sets sail April 1, 2014.
I just saw a preview and my boys will love this! Can't wait to see it when it comes out

Trailer - The Pirate Fairy on Disney Video

CLOSED Holiday Cash Giveaway ($205.00)

I am so excited to join up with a group of bloggers to bring you this awesome Holiday CASH giveaway! The giveaway will run from December 5th to December 19th and is open World Wide (prize is awarded via paypal, so winner must have a valid paypal account). Thanks to Ninja Mommers and The Ranting Ginger for hosting and organizing this great giveaway!

**All entries will be verified so please ensure you have completed any you are committing to. Winner will be emailed as soon as chosen and will have 48 hours to respond before prize is forfeited and another winner is drawn. This giveaway is not sponsored by Paypal**

Good luck! What would you do with the money if you won?

To find more great giveaways, check out Tales of Mommyhood's Giveaway Linky!

Disco Fun with Playmobil

Playmobil Summer Fun Disco (5266) - ARV $42.99

The Playmobil Summer Fun Disco set arrived earlier this week. When I opened the package, I was met with a bright, colourful box.  The set contains 57 pieces, and is not meant for young children (lots of small pieces)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Grab a Patch, Stick it On with Easy Peasy Patches #giveaway

clothing patch review

My kids are tough on their clothes. The knees tend to wear down (especially on snow pants) and I find myself with the decision of purging or fixing.  I am not one to put work into keeping an outfit - if I have to sew something to it, it is gone.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Elf on the Shelf - Zolly Brings Kisses

Last week I introduced you to our elf, Zolly.  I am happy to say, Zolly has returned! She showed up on Saturday morning and the kids were very excited to see her (although it took them about 5 hours to notice she was here!)

The kids didn't find her when they woke up today - Mr. K noticed her around lunchtime
Zolly hanging around our tree
When she came back last night, this is what she was doing.....the boys will be excited that she brought them chocolate from Santa!
Zolly brings kisses from Santa
Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Is it a mischievous elf or a shy one? Zolly was pretty shy last year, just hung around watching from different places. This year, she has come out of her shell a bit to interact with the boys.

Zolly went for a sleigh ride with Eeyore

Monday, December 2, 2013

Keep Your Computer and Information Safe With McAfee

McAfee Home Products
Valid in US only
The internet has become such a part of our lives, that many people use it for everyday things. Emails, banking, bill payments, social media accounts.  Protecting all that valuable information is VERY important to me, and I trust my computer's safety to McAfee.  I like to know that my information is as safe and secure as it can be. McAfee has software available for consumers, small business and enterprises.  

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Super Adventure

Click Communications: BLOGGER BUTTONS &emdash;

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Super Adventure will be released on Disney DVD tomorrow, December 3rd. In celebration of this, Disney has released some free printable activity sheets for your family! Do your kids like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as much as mine? If so - be sure to check out the great activities by clicking on the button above!

Showing Holiday Spirit by Giving Back #cbias #shop

home made cards, walmart, giving back at christmas

As a mother, it is important to me to teach my children about giving back. I want them to grow up being kind and generous to others, both friends and strangers.  I want them to understand that the little things we do CAN make a big difference in someone's life.  There have been times where I have been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness in a drive thru line, and it has made me smile - and sometimes even turned my day around!

When we go out to play in the snow or shovel our driveway, it fills my heart to see my kids running over to our neighbours to shovel their front walk
#shop shoveling neighbours

Other ways we teach them about giving back are adding food to the donation bins when we do our grocery shopping. At Christmas, we donate toys and food to a local initiative to help families in our area that don't have food for Christmas dinner or gifts for under the tree.  Even something as simple as saying hello with a smile to people you pass on the street.

This year I wanted to add something else. We went to our local Walmart store to purchase supplies, and then we came home to make cards and treats. We made these cards so that we could visit a local nursing home and brighten the day of a few of the residents that may not have family or friends to visit them.

Walmart, giving back, cbias, card making
Construction paper, scissors and glue purchased at Walmart
 We had a snow day (the buses were cancelled) so we took some time together and set to work. No phone, no computer, no video games - just us getting crafty at the kitchen table! We had Christmas music playing in the background, we were chatting about different types of designs we could add (snowmen, Christmas tree's and more) and being messy and creative!
card making, #shop, #cbias
Mr. K hard at work decorating one of his cards

#shop giving back card making
They wanted to make a Christmas Tree card!

We had a lot of fun with our activity, and really looked forward to delivering the cards to a local seniors home. We then decided that we would bake some treats to go along with the cards!

Chocolate Christmas Cookies

- Devils Food Cake Mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of shortening

#shop chocolate christmas cookies
unsure of original recipe source

Once the cookies were cooled, we packed them in a container and headed off to the retirement home.  

#shop #cbias cards and cookies
Cards and Cookies all ready to go

Mr. J showing off one of his snow men cards

#shop #cbias
arriving at the retirement home
When we entered, we were greeted by Morgan at the desk, and a beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby.


We told Morgan why were there, and she said that she would be happy to hand out the cards and cookies to the residents!  Then we asked if we could take her picture to include with our post.

We are hoping that our afternoon of craftiness and baking will help to put a smile on some faces of others, and after completing our activity will add it as an annual tradition!  What do you to give back in your community?