Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty {Review}

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is a movie filled with adventure. Adventure that you are unsure whether it is real or not, seeing that Walter is often day dreaming.

I will admit that at the beginning of the movie, I didn't really like it. I found it difficult to get into and actually thought of turning it off.  I didn't, and am I glad that I continued to watch it.

The movie takes you to Greenland, Iceland and a trek through the Himalayas chasing after a photographer who always seems to have JUST left where you are. Some of the scenes have beautiful scenery and while the story starts off slow, once it gets going it is a pretty good movie.  Definitely worth a watch.

One of my favourite scenes in the movie was a skateboard trip down a long and winding road in Iceland 

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty was released on Blu ray and DVD combo April 15th.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Parents of Preemies - Ottawa

PoP Ottawa, preemies, parents of preemies, presents for preemies

A few months ago I joined a facebook group called Parents of Preemies - Ottawa. It was founded by a local Kanata woman, Nicole.  Even though for us, our preemie days are long over and other than a speech delay, there really were no issues after we left the NICU, this group is something I wish had been around in July 2007 when Mr. J was born.

1:)   What is PoPOttawa?

PoPOttawa  or Parents of Preemies- Ottawa is an online based resource and support to parents who have premature children in the city.  Whether  parents have newborn preemies or if they are grown, all parents are welcome to join in.  Part of our awareness is that prematurity doesn't end at the NICU;  parents want to share their past and present experiences with others,  PoPOttawa gives parents the ability to connect to others locally who can relate and empathize.  

PoPOttawa is divided into three parts at this point: the website, PoPOttawa  that is the resource hub where parents can find local or outside resources to help them as well as a blog with articles written by other parents; the second part is a Facebook based support group and facebook page where parents can connect directly to other parents; and the third part is the Packages for Preemies where donations of articles parents with preemies still in the hospital may find useful.  All are maintained by volunteers throughout the group of parents. 

2:) How did PoPOttawa come to be ?

I had my son in November 2012 at 33weeks.  Up till that point I had a pretty normal pregnancy and had never really thought of babies being born earlier than 36weeks and till that point the only way I had heard of the " NICU" was from watching ER years ago.  My husband and I both felt so overwhelmed having a baby prematurely.  At times we felt isolated since we didn't have anyone to talk to about what we were going through or the "typical" preemie issues.  No one we know understood anything about CPAPs or O2 or NG or bradycardia  or  laying in bed at night without the baby but still hearing the alarms of the vitals monitor going off in the mind. We couldn't have made it through that difficult time without the help of others. We had friends and neighbours bring us food and packed lunches, since I spent day and night at the hospital, and items we needed since we had nothing when he was born. It meant the world to us then and we are still forever thankful for the kindness that was shown.

Recently, a friend of mine had a preemie,  and I wanted to make sure she had the support and resources we lacked during our time so I created PoPOttawa.  I also thought it was a chance for me to give back to the community for all the kindness we were shown.  Since the group started in March 2014 the out pouring of support from all over our city has been incredible.  The group continues to grow daily from parents of all different walks of lives but we all share one thing in common : our babies were born too early.  Donations for packages have also poured in from all over as well which is truly a testament of the fantastic community we live in. They used to say it takes a village to raise a child and I really think that is still the case.

3:) How can people help or get involved with the project?

Send me an email. This initiative is all about community involvement and I love to hear from everyone with ideas, comments, questions or wanting to help and contribute. 

4:) How can someone request a package?

By sending me an email.  Tell me whether boy/girl  and which hospital in the city and we can arrange pick up or drop off at the hospital. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Look What I Caught

child in soccer net,

While we were enjoying some beautiful spring weather on Easter Monday, Mr. K got caught up in the net!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

WIN 2 Passes To A Screening of Million Dollar Arm - OTTAWA

Ottawa, movie screening, million dollar arm, jon hamm

Based on a true story, sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) finds that business has changed and things aren’t going well for his career. In a last ditch effort to save his livelihood he concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turn into a major league baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “The Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18 year old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home to America to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India — the boys, who have never left their rural villages — are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball — JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell) — learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.
Are you a fan of Disney movies? Do you live in Ottawa? If you answered yes, then you won't want to miss this giveaway!  Tales of Mommyhood has 2 passes to giveaway to the screening in Ottawa at Silvercity Gloucester, May 14th 7pm.

The contest is open to anyone 18+ that can travel to the theater on May 14th for the screening and will run from April 22 until May 6th at 11:59pm EST.

Please see the Terms and Conditions page for rules about giveaways on ToM. As always, Tales of Mommyhood is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ergobaby Carrier Giveaway

Welcome to the Ergobaby Original Carrier Giveaway Event!

When I was pregnant with Mr. K I purchased an Ergobaby carrier. I thought I would get a lot of use out of it since I had a pre-schooler at home already.  There were many times we went for a walk or a trip to the park and having the ergo was great. I could keep Mr. K close, but still have my hands/arms free for Mr. J.  I am excited to be taking part in this giveaway along with a number of other Canadian bloggers.  Keep reading for information from This West Coast Mommy on the Ergobaby carrier and the giveaway! 

One of my favourite must-have accessories for any mama or mama-to-be is a baby carrier. A good carrier will serve you well from those first newborn days right through to toddlerhood. From walking your colicky newborn around at two in the morning, to grocery shopping with a sleeping infant, to nursing your baby on the go, to running errands with a toddler, and then pretty much anything you have to do when you have an older child along too. A carrier saves your arms, your back, and your sanity!
Rose ou Bleu, a modern baby boutique based in Montreal, Quebec, is generously sponsoring this Ergobaby Original Carrier in my favourite Night Sky print for one lucky Canadian winner! Rose ou Bleu carries an impressive selection of items for the nursery and for playtime, and the friendly folks there are always happy to help with practical information and advice so you can find the right product to meet your needs. They also offer an online baby registry so expectant moms can easily let friends and family know just what they need. Rose ou Bleu offers full-service online shopping and FREE delivery in Canada on orders over $150.

The Ergobaby's award-winning design holds your baby in an ergonomic, natural sitting position and fits babies 7-45 pounds. It can be used for front, back, or hip carries. The padded waistbelt ensures baby's weight is evenly distributed between your hips and shoulders, while the adjustable padded shoulder straps provide you with ultimate comfort. The Ergobaby Original Carrier is a great choice for you and your baby!
Ergobaby Original Carrier Features:
  • 100% cotton shell and lining
  • 3 carry positions: front, back and hip
  • Baby weight range: 7*-45 lb. (3.2*–20 kg) *newborn with infant insert
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps and waist belt
  • Large zippered storage pocket
  • 5 position adjustable hood
  • Stitching: reinforced at all fabric intersections for extra durability
  • Shoulder strap length range: 24”-44” (61cm-112cm)
  • Waist belt circumference range: 26”-55” (66cm-140cm)
  • Shoulder strap padding: 1” high density PU foam
  • Designed in the USA
Enter to win this beautiful Ergobaby carrier in the Giveaway Tools widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, 18 +. All entries are verified. Good luck!
Disclosure: This West Coast Mommy and participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Rice Krispie Treats with Kellogg's #kellogger

One of my favourite activities to do with the boys is to make Rice Krispies treats.  They are so easy and quick, it's a great baking activity to get kids involved with. One of the great aspects is that they can be so creative with the outcome (shape and decorating)

My latest Kellogger package arrived last week, just in time for Easter.  It included a box of Rice Krispies cereal, a bag of marshmallows, jelly beans, mini eggs and icing to decorate (although I will be honest, the mini eggs and jelly beans didn't last long enough to be used in decorating).

The boys and I set to work making the Rice Krispies treats. Mr. K had the job of adding the marshmallows to the pot, and Mr. J was in charge of adding the cereal.  I took charge of stirring since the pot and stove were hot.

Once the mixture was set in the pan, we decided what we would make. I chose to make an Easter Egg and a tulip (although it didn't turn out very well). The boys both wanted to make cars and a maple leaf (I tried to steer them to more spring/Easter like items but it wasn't happening)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Watermelon Sprouting

gardening, growing watermelon, sprouts, indoor seedlings

I really enjoyed growing my own strawberries and tomatoes last year.  So much so, that when I saw some seed kits at the local store I decided to buy some.  There were many offered (tomatoes, strawberries, bananas, zucchini and watermelon)

I decided that I would try the watermelon and strawberries (I enjoyed the berries last summer, but the plants produced very small berries - definitely not enough to replace buying them throughout the summer).

I bought the kits last Monday, got them ready on Wednesday and today, a week later noticed that the watermelon had started to sprout! The berries have as well, but they are so tiny it wasn't showing up in a picture.

Do you grow any of your own food?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DIY Minion Cake

Like many kids his age, Mr. J really likes the Despicable Me movies, and of course the Minions are a big part of that liking.

When we were brainstorming ideas for this years cake raffle at his school, a Minion cake was at the top of our list.

It's fairly simple to make and only takes a little bit of trimming to get the correct shape.

1) Bake your favourite cake in a 9*13 pan
2) Allow cake to cool
3) Freeze (not necessary, but will make carving easier)
4) Once frozen, use a knife to trim the corners so they are round

how to make a minion cake

5) Start with 4 cups white buttercream and tint 1.5 cups yellow, 1 cup blue and 1/2 cup black - reserve 1 cup white
6) Using your knife, make a mark where the yellow and blue will meet
7) Frost the upper portion yellow and the lower portion blue
8) Pipe the goggle outline
9) Fill in the goggle with white for the eye
10) Pipe in the black pupil on the eye and any additions you may want to add (hair, smile, buttons)

despicable me, cake, minion, how to make a minion cake

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My First Time. . . . . #bconnectedconf

My first time attending a blogging conference

This past weekend was filled with firsts for me.  My first blogging conference, first time meeting a lot of the bloggers in person that I chat with online, and the first time being away from Mr. K overnight.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Family Game Night

board games, game night, family time, scrabble jr

When I was young, my family played board games, card games and dice games all the time. Monopoly, scrabble, rummoli, yahtzee, spite and malice were all regular additions to our kitchen table.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Konrad, I Will Find You {book review}

Book Launch, Konrad I will find you, review, jennifer perlin, jay lutes, children book
To celebrate the release of Konrad, I Will Find You there is a book launch party! Details can be found in the photo above - I will be there with my family to enjoy the activities and listen to the book reading.  Copies will be available for purchase as well.

"Konrad, I Will Find You" is written by Jennifer Perlin (a local blogger) and illustrated by Jay Lutes. It tells the story of a little boy that is experiencing some separation anxiety about starting school, and the questions he asks his parents. He is worried about getting lost and them not being able to find him.

I really enjoyed reading Konrad, I Will Find You.  It is a book that is very easy for me to relate to, having been through separation anxiety with both of my children. I found familiar images playing through my head as I read through the story.  It's a quick, easy read and a great book to share with your kids if they are worried about being away from you (whether it is overnight, at daycare/school or with a babysitter).

The illustrations are great also - the pages are filled with details that you would expect if you were to walk into someones kitchen or down a school hallway (scenes in the book)

Konrad, I Will Find You will be available for purchase at Tag Along Toys or through Another Chapter Publishing

Monday, April 7, 2014

Awesome Children's Books From Raincoast Publishing

My kids love books. They are happy to read the same book over and over, but they are always THRILLED when new ones make it into the collection.  A few weeks ago we had a package delivered from Raincoast Publishing and Mr. J was very excited!

We hurriedly went to the kitchen table to open the envelope and see what books we had received! 

Our package contained 5 books:

1) I didn't Do My Homework Because
A book filled with every excuse you can probably think of for NOT having homework done - excuses that could only be thought up by the imagination of a child.  Mr. J and I enjoyed reading this at bedtime - he thought the excuses the child was giving to the teacher were absolutely hilarious, and then started talking about what reasons people may have for NOT completing their homework.  We settled on 2 being acceptable: you were ill or there was an emergency. Otherwise, he said that you have to do your homework.  Mr. J is really starting to improve with his reading now, and this was one that he was able to read with me.  He had trouble with some of the words, but the sentences are short and the book is an easy read.

2) Lately Lily
This is a book that takes you around the world on travels with Lily (she accompanies her parents on their trips).  The colours in this book are so vibrant and the illustrations are great.  This one didn't hold the kids interest though - I think perhaps better suited to a slightly older age group (8+) than my boys.

3) At The Same Moment Around The World
This one was a great book to talk about time. It goes through the hours of the day, and the fact that at the same moment, there are different countries/cities that are experiencing a different hour of the day. At 5 o'clock here in Ottawa, it is 2 o'clock in Vancouver (the book doesn't use these cities, but we did to help him understand a little better) He thought it was really interesting that when he is getting ready for bed, there are others that are waking up to start their day.  Mr. J (6 yrs) thought it was great, but it didn't hold Mr. K's (3 yrs) attention.

4) Here Comes Destructosauras
This book is about a child's temper tantrum when he can't find his favourite toy.  Of course, kids wouldn't make this connection as the illustrations show a dinosaur destroying a city.  Mr. J didn't make the connection at all, but I definitely knew immediately what was going on and had a little chuckle. Both the kids (ages 3 and 6) enjoyed when I read it to them, and it has wonderful, detailed photo's.  

5) Busy Bunny Days
This one is by far the boys favourite.  You follow the Bunny family through their day with the chance to find different scenarios throughout each section.  Both kids enjoy looking at this one and finding the different characters through the different themes. They love to look and find, and they make it a race to see who can find Benny the Badger first!  

All of the above books can be purchased online or in-store at Indigo Kids.

See the following posts for more children's book review:

How would you like to add the above titles to your home library?  If you live in Canada and want a chance to win, simply fill out the form below. Closes April 21 at 9PM (est). Good luck!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Clean And Sweep Cash Giveaway #CleanSweepCash

Welcome to Spring! Not sure what your weather is like, but ours isn't very spring like around here. How would you like to win some CASH to help you buy your spring cleaning/organizing supplies?  I have joined together with some awesome Canadian bloggers to bring you this Spring giveaway!

Simply fill in the form below (follow the directions) and enter for your chance to win! Contest is open WW and closes on April 30 2014.  Thanks to Downshifting Pro for getting this giveaway organized!

Good luck!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Come Party With Me - Ultimate Blog Party 2014 #UBP14

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

Well folks, it is that time of year again! The Ultimate Blog Party 2014 is happening right now - why don't you join me while I party?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring #backyardfun giveaway!

playhouse, water table, giveaway, spring time, backyard fun

I am so excited about this giveaway! I have teamed up with a GREAT group of bloggers to bring you this #backyardfun giveaway.  With the snow melting, and the nice weather starting to make an appearance, it's that time of year we start to think about our backyards and outdoor play.

April 1st - April Fools Day

Today is April 1st, which is known as April Fools Day.  Growing up, I took great pleasure in switching the sugar in the bowl for salt - and watching my father's face as he drank his coffee.

Of course, my uncontrolled giggling had him on high alert, and even though I did the same thing EACH year, he always played along with me.

I am not big on April Fools Day pranks (mostly because I am not good at coming up with ideas for them).  I love to see/read/hear about other pranks that people play on their families, friends and co-workers.

Will you be playing a prank this year? What are some of the best you have done or had done to you?

Spring Cleaning 2014

It's another post for the Canucks Content Carnival! This month is all about Spring Cleaning. Have a read through my post and then visit the rest of the blogs linked up below to see what they have to say!

Spring has sprung and it's time to get to cleaning! I always find that by this time in the year I am itching to get the windows cleaned and opened up to air out the house. I also like to clean every inch of my kitchen. It's a time to purge (as I am putting away winter clothes I transfer my oldest's outgrown to a drawer in my youngest's room and then the younger ones get boxed up and donated or sold) As I am going through their spring and summer clothes I take inventory so I know if we need to buy more (I try and stock up during end of season sales, but sometimes they outgrow what I have bought)

I go through my own closet and see what I didn't wear and get it ready for donation as well; it's a time to go room to room and de-clutter. We pack up toys that they don't seem to play with and pass them on or throw out broken games.

It's a time to get the back deck organized for patio season (bringing up the table and chairs, cleaning the bbq, re-setting up the gazebo - it is steel, so up all year, but we re-hang the netting and curtains).

I clean out the water table and play house and get them ready for another season of playing, although this year the play house will likely be sold as it wasn't used much last year. We pull down all the outdoor toys and bikes and organize the garage to store them for the summer.  We tend to spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer (playing with chalk, bubbles, picnics in the back yard, trips to the park etc) so it's nice to have everything in one spot so we aren't running around looking for items when we decide to head out.

As I am cleaning out the bathroom cupboards I check to see what kind of sunscreen supply I have and organize the bandaids (for the inevitable scrapes and cuts my rambunctious boys are destined for)

What does spring cleaning look like to you? What is the one area you focus on the most, or the one chore you cannot stand doing?