Friday, June 27, 2014

DIY Fruit and Veggie Garden

Last year I decided I wanted to grow some of my own food. Tomatoes and Strawberries is what I started with.  I didn't have a garden, so I used some containers and kept them on our deck.

This year, I convinced hubby that he needed to build me a garden.  I started some strawberries and watermelon in the house in the spring, and bought some tomatoes at the garden center last week.

When hubby was picking up the supplies for the garden, he also bought 2 more tomato plants and 2 more strawberry plants.

He and Mr. K came home and got to work building the garden beside our deck.  The watermelon has started to flower, and some of the tomatoes have started to grow as well. I cannot wait until everything is ripe and we can enjoy the food!

Do you garden? What is your favourite thing to grow?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Strawberry Picking 2014

Strawberries are by far my favourite fruit.  I eat them on their own, in smoothies, with ice cream, cake, served with whipped cream or dipped in chocolate....I just love them.

Buying them at the grocery store is ok, but there is nothing quite like berries picked fresh from the plant.  We are growing a few plants in the back yard garden, but going to the fields with our friends to pick them is such a fun outing.  Sunday we headed out with friends to Shouldice Berry Farms on Woodroffe Avenue to gather baskets of the yummy fruit.

We finished it off with a swim and lunch at their house afterwards.  Do you like strawberries? Have you ever gone to pick your own?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Law) Comes Into Effect July 1st

If you have subscribed to receive Tales of Mommyhood in your inbox, THANK YOU!  I truly appreciate the support that I receive from my wonderful readers.

This post is to let you know that as of June 30, the feed will be deleted.  I am on the search for a new service to send update emails, but for the moment I will be stopping to remain in compliance with the CASL.

Don't forget to check back in here for new posts, reviews and giveaways.

Wordless Wednesday - Sick Kid

Mr J resting on the couch with a fever and a tummy ache

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - Delicious Mocha Cupcakes with Mocha Butter-Cream Frosting

I am not a huge lover of coffee, but I do enjoy mocha flavoured treats.  I had a major chocolate cupcake craving a few weeks ago, and decided to make some mocha cupcakes.

I used a chocolate cake mix, made to direction except for the liquid.  I made a shot of espresso, and added enough water to make 1/3 cup (the total liquid the mix called for)

Once the cupcakes were ready, I went ahead and made the frosting:

Mocha Butter-Cream Frosting
1 cup softened butter
1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted and cooled down)
1 tbsp of brewed espresso
1 tbsp milk
3 1/3 cup icing sugar

Using your stand mixer, whip the butter.  Add in the cooled chocolate and room temperature espresso. Once combined, add in milk and slowly add in icing sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing as you go.

Fill a decorators bag with the frosting and decorate as you like. I use the 1M tip, and made some with roses on top, and others swirled.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Robocop - Movie Review

Robots on Film: From RoboCop to WALL-E, a Look at How Robots are Portrayed in Films




Arriving on Digital HD May 20 and on Blu-ray, 

DVD and VOD June 3 

Directed by José Padilha, RoboCop stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton,
Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley and Samuel L. Jackson. In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and OmniCorp – the world’s leader in robot technology – sees a golden opportunity to reap billions for their company. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit – is critically injured, OmniCorp grabs their chance to build a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and will stop at nothing – no matter the cost to Alex – to make sure the program succeeds. But OmniCorp never counted on one thing: there is still a man fighting inside the machine.

Who knew that a robot could be so lovable such as WALL-E from Pixar’s beloved movie, or that robots could think like Sonny from I, Robot? Coming soon to Blu-ray is another story of a famous robot, this time one where the robot is part human and part machine.

When robots want to save the world, they usually do it hand in hand with a human. When it comes to the Iron Man series, that robot is actually a suit that eventually becomes part of the human. In I, Robot, we have Sonny “who” sacrifices himself? itself? for the sake of mankind. There is also our beloved RoboCop who becomes the law itself and eventually takes out those wanting to control him/it. Through portrayals like these, audiences get to see a glimpse of robots that intentionally and unintentionally become heroes.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment present RoboCop, arriving on Digital HD May 20 and on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD June 3.


I know that I saw the original Robocop when it was first released to video many years ago, but I was young and don't really have much memory of it - which is good, because then I have nothing to compare the remake to.

Robocop is action packed and stars a few well known actors - Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Jay Baruchel.  It is rated PG, although there are some pretty graphic scenes that young ones may find disturbing, so I wouldn't recommend it for little ones (probably 10 +).

I found that it had a good base story, but found it lacking in the execution of it. I felt it needed a little more to the back story to be able to fully understand the character.  It DOES have a lot of action though, and I would give it a 3/5.

**Tales of Mommyhood received the above mentioned product free of charge in exchange for this review.  All opinions are honest and belong to Tales of Mommyhood; your opinion/experience may vary.**

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sweet Bernard - Puppy Love

Mr. J and Bernard

My kids love animals.  Especially Dogs.  

A few years ago, we met a woman that lives in our area.  She was out walking her dog (Xanna).  I found out that she raises dogs that will be entering into the Guide Dog program in our area.  

Now, she is on her fourth dog (the 3rd that we have known) Bernard.  He is such a sweetheart and he comes to visit us at the bus stop most mornings.  The boys just love his visits!

Summer 2014 Bucket List

The time has come.  The boys and I sat down yesterday afternoon to make our Summer Bucket List. Are you wondering what a summer bucket list is?  It's a list of all the places we want to go and activities we want to do over the summer holidays.

Being at home with the boys means that we have a lot of days to accomplish our list, and we will often do a few of the items more than once.

So, here is our list (many of which were on last years as well)

  1. Visit my aunt and uncles cottage
  2. Go swimming at uncle Marco's
  3. Visit Carp Custom Creamery for ice cream
  4. Have a water fight
  5. Go to the park
  6. Visit ValleyView Animal Farm
  7. Have a visit at Grandma and Granpa's
  8. Have a visit at Gramz
  9. Have a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's
  10. Have a sleepover at Gramz
  11. Play outdoor mini-golf
  12. Play indoor mini-golf
  13. Have friends over for a picnic
  14. Go for a bike ride
  15. Go to Dairy Queen
  16. Go to the driving range
  17. Visit a splash pad
  18. Bake yummy treats
  19. Participate in the library reading challenge
  20. Play tourist downtown
  21. Visit with Uncle Wes and family
  22. Visit the Diefenbunker
  23. Bake pretzels
  24. Bake cookies
  25. Bake and decorate cupcakes
  26. Make our own ice cream
  27. Play outdoor games (soccer, red rover, football)
  28. Lunch or dinner at Cheshire Cat Pub
  29. Movie theater
  30. Fire Station
  31. Upper Canada Village
  32. A trip to Toys R Us
  33. Strawberry Picking
  34. Ice Cream from the ice cream truck
That is our list for now - we may add to it over the next few weeks, but we won't start crossing items off until Summer Vacation starts.

Do you have a bucket list? What is the number one thing that you and your family like to do every summer?

June 15 Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

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Welcome to the  Monday Madness giveaway linky!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lemonade Stand Fun

This past weekend was the annual community garage sale.  In past years I have taken the few items I have to my in-laws house and added it to the sale she was having.  This year my mother-in-law was not doing it, so I decided to hold one on my own.

I didn't have that much stuff to sell, but figured it was worth it to put out anyways.  The boys thought it would be fun to run a lemonade stand, and then when we found out about the fundraiser for Lauren King, (she goes to their school) they wanted to donate the money from their stand to the fundraiser (proud mommy moment).

We were out bright and early Saturday morning to get everything set up.  I found some Lemonade Stand printables on Moms and Munchkins, and they also made their own sign using cardboard and crayons.

In addition to the lemonade that Mr. J made, Mr. K helped me make rice krispies squares and M&M cookies.

They charged $0.50 for a glass of lemonade and $0.25 each for the treats.  It was a long morning (they were outside with me setting up the sale around 630am) and it was really hot.  We had busy times and slow times (I had them asking every.single.person they saw on the street.  I event sent them up the street if there were people washing vehicles or cutting grass).

Many people paid with a loonie or twonie and told them to keep the change; we even had some pay with $10 and $20 and tell them to keep the change. Their hard work was worth it they raised $97.20 for the fundraiser, and we added in the extra to make it $100.00

I was so proud of my boys.  They were hot, they got bored at times and wanted to close up (which I told them was fine, it was their stand). Then they would get a burst of energy and decide to keep going.

After we had packed up, Mr. J and I biked over to the house of the family that organized the fundraiser to drop off the money.  He was so happy to hand over the bag of change/bills.

We finished off the day with a family water fight!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

FIFA World Cup 2014

Personally, I am not a huge soccer fan.  I enjoy watching Mr. J play, but other than that, I don't have an interest in it.  Hubby, on the other hand, LOVES soccer.  He played the game when he was a kid and when he was a teenager, and is thinking of joining an adult rec league next year.

The FIFA World Cup starts tomorrow, and will run for the next four weeks.  Hubby always cheers for Italy and I can pretty much guarantee that our TV will be tuned in to soccer for the next month.

The World Cup started in 1930, and except for twice during WWII, has been held every four years.  This year, Brazil is hosting.  Spain won the 2010 World Cup which was held in South Africa.

 Are you a soccer fan? Will you be following the 2014 World Cup?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Shopping For Vehicles Online

Shopping for cars is difficult enough without running into scarcity of the model you want. It's unfortunately very possible to find that it simply isn't feasible to acquire the vehicle you want from the local car lots. Many were disappointed to discover their local Toyota Prius V inventory was slim, for instance, and this led to many people not being able to purchase the vehicle they wanted in the same timeframe without a costly trip or special order.

However, what many are unaware of is how you can avoid this by looking online. Most people only look online for used cars, and cheap ones at that. Looking online can also put you in touch with different dealerships to determine what they have in stock and at what prices. By looking online, one can determine who has what, and who will get what vehicles when. This makes it possible to make longer-term plans about vehicle purchases, and to more easily collect pertinent data with which to make more informed purchasing decisions.

Looking online and learning what is in stock can also get you appraised of what will be in stock in the future. It's an excellent way to save both time and money, and it can allow you to compensate for scarce stock of the vehicle you want by letting you put yourself in the right place at the right time. Shopping online isn't just for used cars; it can be a great way to find just the car you want.

Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 2 Review


DVD Soars on May 27 with Exclusive Codes for 
The School of Dragons Online Game and Movie Money for 
How to Train Your Dragon 2 in Theatres on June 13

My kids were once again thrilled to have the chance to watch the latest episodes with Dragons: Defenders of Berk part 2.  They love seeing all the dragons and the new adventures that the kids in Berk experience.  It has definitely gotten them pumped up for the release of How To Train Your Dragon 2.

Hiccup and Toothless are definitely the 2 favourits in our household - what about your family? Are you fans of How To Train Your Dragon?

NERF Keeps You Cooled Down and Having Fun

We make a summer bucket list every year, and one of the items that gets added every time is a family water fight.  It's a great way to have some fun outdoors, cooling off on hot summer days.  When we received our latest package from Hasbro, I knew they would be ecstatic!

NERF has two new additions to the super soaker lineup for this year. Your children can enjoy the NERF Super Soaker Barrage and the NERF Rebelle Dolphina Bow.

Of course they wanted to try them out immediately, but it didn't work out that way and we had to wait until the weekend. Saturday morning we spent in the front having a garage sale and lemonade stand, but in the afternoon we had a chance to relax in the backyard. It was hot, so I told the boys that we could have a family water fight.

I retrieved the 2 new super soakers that we were sent, and added them to the rest of our pile (we have WAY too many water guns in our backyard).  Hubby got to filling them up, and the boys decided which ones they were going to use.

Mr. K chose the Rebelle Dolphina Bow 
"Step up with strength and style and bow-blasting soakage with the Dolphina Bow Blaster! It's easy to load this stylish soaker with up to 25 ounces of water. Then pull the handle back and push it forward to fire a blast of water at your target. Show off your skill and soak your mark with the Dolphina Bow blaster!"
 Mr. J chose the barrage
"Soak like a champ with this huge-capacity Barrage soaker! This big drencher can hold up to 84 ounces of water, and it's easy to pump and fire. Turn the nozzle to 1 of 3 soaking modes so you can choose just how to soak your target. You'll get a huge stream in Flood mode, or the ability to hit multiple targets in Scatter mode. But if you need to hit targets up to 38 feet away, it's Distance mode you want! Nobody will stand against you when you come armed with the Barrage soaker!"
  They patiently waited for their dad to fill them with water, and then they were off. 

It started out with the boys teaming up against their dad, but quickly ended up as a free for all.  Once I was finished taking pictures, I launched a sneak attack and was able to get them all! Although, I received my share of hits and ended up pretty wet by the end of the fun.

Mr. K all set to go
We had such a fun time outdoors; it was a really hot day, and this was a great way to enjoy the sunshine, and keep cool!

What's your favourite way to keep cool during the hot summer days?

**Tales of Mommyhood was supplied with the above mentioned product in exchange for this post.  All opinions are honest and belong to Tales of Mommyhood. Your opinion/experience may vary. Tales of Mommyhood Disclosure Policy

June 9 Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

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Welcome to the  Monday Madness giveaway linky!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Funky Socks For Kids - Are You Kidding?

Anyone that knows me well, knows how much I hate wearing socks. BUT - given that I am prone to having chilly feet, they are a must.  I figure if I am going to have to wear them, I might as well have fun with them.
The boys seem to feel the same way, and while home they are almost always in bare feet.  For school, and trips outside (bare feet in shoes/boots really is not comfortable) they will give in and wear socks - but like me, they want them to be fun!

I like to buy funky socks.  My kids seem to like my style, and when I saw the socks that Are You Kidding? offers, I was fairly certain that they would love them too.

When the socks came in, I was happy to see that the colours shown on the website are very true to the actual colour (sometimes lighting in pictures can change shades).  The boys were excited and couldn't wait to try on their new socks.

I received a set of 3 pairs for each of the boys (although they are all mixed up and neither set belongs to either of them). Mr. J seems to like the lightning socks, and Mr. J really likes the monster eyes.  The socks are soft and comfortable, and have held up to the dirt, wear and constant laundering that has been needed.

Are You Kidding? socks are the designs of 6 year old Sebastian, who has his own love of crazy socks! They are available in size S, M , L and XL (S and M come with non-stick dots on the bottoms).  Both of my boys are wearing a L (size 12 child and size 1 youth) although they are slightly big on Mr. K.

All of their socks are made in Guatemala and contain 87% cotton / 8% nylon / 5% spandex

BUY IT: You can purchase Are You Kidding? socks on their website for $15.00/set (3 pairs). Are You Kidding is offering Tales of Mommyhood readers a discount code for 15% off your entire cart. Use code mommyhood at checkout to receive your discount.

WIN IT:  Fill out the Giveaway Tools form below for your chance to win a set!

For another chance to win, visit The Knit Wit By Shair

Tales of Mommyhood received the above product in exchange for this review. All opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your opinion/experience may vary. Tales of Mommyhood disclosure policy.

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2 Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

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Welcome to the  Monday Madness giveaway linky!

Monday Rant

Seeing carts left in parking spaces and lots, and not returned to the store or cart return area absolutely drives me nuts.  This was in a Walmart parking lot on a Saturday afternoon.  There were hardly any spots open, and then I see this as I pull into the spot beside them. When I left the store, an hour later, they were STILL there.  I returned them when I took my cart back.

What drives you crazy when you see it?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dream Vacation

Welcome to another round of Canucks Content Carnival!  This month we are talking about dream vacations. Check out my post, and then visit the other blogs that are linked up!

One of my dream vacations was Walt Disney World.  I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit Disney World TWICE, and will be going for a third time next winter.

Some things to keep in mind for a Walt Disney World Vacation:

1) Cost - it can be a relatively inexpensive vacation if you stay off site. You can find some very reasonable hotel rooms, and there are shuttles to take you to the parks or you can rent a vehicle.  We much prefer to stay on-site, so that adds to the cost. However, there are 3 resort types at Disney from Value resorts all the way to Deluxe. We enjoy staying on the monorail, which means a deluxe hotel (there are only 3 hotels on the monorail system).  Food is expensive, so to keep the cost down you may want to consider bringing your own snacks.

2) Peak Season - if you are travelling during any of the peak seasons, it is going to me more expensive and much more crowded. This means you will be waiting in long lines for rides, unless you take advantage of the fast pass program they offer.  We like travelling during the low season, which means we go late January or early February. You can walk onto most rides, or have a minimal wait.

3) Travelling with kids - kids are unpredictable, and while you may have certain things you want to experience or have planned, sometimes you need to just go with the flow. If your child doesn't want to do something - it may be best to skip it to avoid a full out meltdown in Disney (which are super common, and my oldest had 3 on our trip).

4) Stay hydrated and fed - make sure you eat at regular intervals and stay hydrated.  Disney is very big, and there is a lot of walking involved. If you have a hot day added in, it's easy to get dehydrated.  To keep costs down, bring water with you.

6) Reservations - I always recommend making your dining reservations as early as possible.  If you are only one person, or a couple you are probably fine to not make advanced ressys, but if you want to eat at a specific time, or a specific restaurant then I would suggest booking early.  Things fill up quickly, and a family of 4 would have a hard time walking in to a restaurant for dinner between 5 and 7pm.  Same things goes with any special events (bibbidi bobbidi boutique, pirates league etc)

5) HAVE FUN!  - the whole point of the vacation is to have fun. Try not to get too stressed about things that happen.

What is your dream vacation? Have you done it or is it still a dream?