Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31st Monday Madness Giveaway Linky - Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you are all set with costumes and candy for tonight.  Mr. J is going as an assassin and Mr. K is The Riddler again this year.

I am super excited for tonight - I always love to see the different costumes that show up at my door!

DIY Halloween Costume - The Riddler

Last year for Halloween Mr. K wanted to be Batman. Great! No problem, we have a Batman costume that Mr. J wore when he was 5, and Mr. K wore it when he was. I found it, made sure it still fit him and we were all set.

Then, he changed his mind.  He wanted to be The Riddler.  Still Batman themed, but a different character. I looked online, costume was sold out. I called a few places, they don't carry it.  Ok, fine. I need to be creative.

I took a look online to make sure I knew what would be needed and set to work finding the items I needed.
  • Green hat
  • Green blazer (this I was not able to find, so I had to make do with a sweater)
  • Walking stick (I found a broken shovel handle)
  • Fabric Paint
  • Purple gloves
I checked my closets and didn't have any of the items.  I asked on the buy nothing site and friends, and all I found was a pair of purple gloves.  My next stop was a local thrift store.  In their Halloween section I managed to find a green hat.  Then I found the sweater in the men's section (way to big, but since we live in Ontario, it can be quite chilly on Halloween night, which means the sweater will fit over his coat) and then I also managed to find a broken shovel handle.

When I was done, I headed to Michael's for fabric paint (I found a marker that worked well) and then home to get everything ready.

I started with the hat.  The ribbon was unglued, so I glued it back on and then used the black marker to make a question mark on the front of the hat.

Next up, I washed the sweater, and when it was dry added question marks all over. I let Mr. K choose where he wanted them.

I unscrewed the handle from shovel and then cut out question marks from cardboard and glued construction paper over top.  Then I glued them onto the top of the "walking stick".  Hubby didn't like this, so he went and bought a different type that looked a little more like The Riddler's cane.

It was a really simple project. I ended up spending approx $25.00 (much cheaper than if I had bought the costume online). It could have been even cheaper if we had the items already.

If you think you/your child might like to be The Riddler next year, you can probably find a green hat at the $ store near St. Patrick's Day!

2015 Halloween

What makes it even better? He decided to be The Riddler again THIS Halloween, so it's really worth the money it took last year.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Our Day At The Emergency Room

resting in the hospital waiting room before being called in
Mr. J gave us a big scare last week.  He woke up complaining of major head pain.  He was happy and alert, but anytime he moved his head he would have this giant pain. Standing up made the pain unbearable.

I knew we needed to see a doctor, and luckily my GP is normally pretty good at getting us in same day. She was able to see us about an hour after I phoned.

While we were in the waiting room, he started to look "off" and told me he was going to throw up. As we were making our way to the bathroom, he was stumbling around - I reached out to steady him, and we continued. As we got to the washroom, he collapsed.

Thankfully, I was right behind him so he fell into me and I was able to lay him down on the ground.  He was completely unresponsive for about 30 seconds (it doesn't sound like a long time, but when it is happening in front of you it feels like forever, and is pretty scary).

The nurse that was behind us called for a doctor, and 2 came over (one of them being our GP). He was responsive at this time, but not aware of what had happened and very weak.  We managed to get him to her office and she assessed him and sent us to CHEO.

When we got their, they triaged us as priority, which meant not a very long wait before seeing the doctor.  He listened to what had gone on and then went to consult with a colleague.  They came back recommended an ECG and a CT.

Through all of this Mr. J would have periods of alertness and seemingly "normal" (except with the head pain) and then he would get really tired and fatigued.  After the ECG, he actually took an hour long nap, and only awoke as he was being wheeled to the CT.  He is 9, and does not nap anymore...hasn't in years.

a little nap while waiting for the CT

He was pretty nervous for both the ECG and CT, but he did great.  I stayed with him the whole time and kept my hands on his legs so he could feel my presence.

When we got the results, all came back as being normal.  By this time, the pain had gone and other than a kink in his neck (from holding his head at a weird angle to keep the pain away) he was fine.

We were given instructions to follow up with our family doc, and if the had any more episodes of pain like that day, to be sent for an MRI.  They have absolutely no idea what caused him to collapse.

I am glad they didn't find anything, but at the same time I am petrified it will happen again since they don't know the reason.  I had fainting spells in my teens and early 20's, and they were never able to pinpoint why.  They eventually stopped happening.  I am hoping he isn't taking after me and this was a one-off type of event.

I must say that everyone we saw at CHEO was amazing.  They took us seriously, listened to our concerns and were so kind and caring to both him and I.

While our medical system may not be perfect, and there is room for improvement - it has always served us well when needed.  We exited the parking lot exactly 5 hours after entering.  In that time, he had 4 visits with the doctor, 4 visits from nurses, an ECG and a CT.  All it cost me out of pocket was $14 for parking.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Help Ease Dinner Time Woes With Bootler #GoBootler

As a busy parent, there are times where I don’t feel like cooking.  Sometimes I muddle through and find something quick that doesn’t take much effort, but other times I turn to those take out menus I have stored on top of the fridge.

I know I can’t be the only one. Sometimes the options are overwhelming, and other times I am crunched for time and need something that can arrive quickly - and this is where Bootler comes in.

Bootler isn’t the delivery company, but a service that helps you compare different delivery options. It will help you figure out the delivery fees and what the wait time is going to be, and help make sure you make the best choice for your family, every time.

It's pretty much a search engine for food. Type in your address and find out what options are near you.  This would especially come in handy if you are travelling, or if you wanted to order a meal for a friend or family member in another city.  It gives you options you might not know about.  

Are you over 21? You can get alcohol delivered by Saucey. Have a craving for some peach cobbler? Search for it in Bootler and Smoque BBQ Delivery will come up. You can decide if the delivery time will work with your craving, or search the menu for other items that are appealing.

At this time, it is only available in Chicago, but will be making it’s way to New York by year end, and more major American cities in the near future.

Bootler isn’t available to us at this time, but it’s definitely a service that would come in handy. Helping me compare delivery fees and arrival time windows? Yes please!

Curious to know more? Check out the video below

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Attack Of The 14 Nights Of Halloween #Giveaway

Halloween is just around the corner and I have joined in with a group of bloggers to promote this new giveaway.

It's that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler and the nights are getting spookier. Yes, it's time for tricks and treats, goblins and ghouls, chills and thrills and huge amounts of sugary sweets. But at the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog it's also time for the 5th annual Attack of the 14 Nights of Halloween Giveaway. Join Laughing Vixen Lounge and our bewitching co-hosts The Kids Did It, The Mommy Island, Herding Cats and Burning Soup, The Hopping Bloggers, Mama Smith's Reviews and Women and Their Pretties for a spooktacular Halloween event.

Enter to win a $250 Prize Pack filled with goodies from 10 wickedly fabulous shops. All shops are offering Gift Cards or your choice of item(s) so there will be something for everyone. You'll find lots of unique, handcrafted and custom designs to choose from.

Visit the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog daily during the giveaway for the Halloween Movie Marathon. Test your movie knowledge with the Guess the Movie Game. Then try to solve the Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt, if you dare! Each event will get you daily entries in the giveaway plus a special giveaway for the Scavenger Hunt. Find full details for these events HERE.

I used to have quite the horror movie addiction. Back when I lived with my mother and never had to go to bed alone in the house :) One of my favourite horror movies was probably the original "Halloween". The sequels weren't nearly as good.

You can start by entering the Rafflecopter widget below. To experience all the games, movies, shop features, giveaway info and all around awesome fun make sure to stop by the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog HERE.

The giveaway runs October 18th - November 1st and is open worldwide to anyone 18+. 1 winner will win the Prize Pack and 1 winner will win the Scavenger Hunt Prize Pack. Laughing Vixen Lounge is responsible for all giveaway details. Click HERE for full details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 17, 2016

October 17th Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

Well, it finally happened. The heat went on last week.  Both hubby and I were sick with colds and couldn't get warm.  It's been on and off over the last few days, but I think we are going to be keeping it on now.

We did a pretty big clean of the basement this week. It's amazing how much junk can get thrown down there and then forgotten about.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Reading Goals 2016 UPDATE

Last year at Christmas I decided that I wanted to try and read one book per month this year - you can check out that post reading goals for 2016.  

These were the original books on my list
  1. Girl on The Train
  2. Me Before You
  3. After You (still waiting for it from the library)
  4. One Plus One
  5. Shopaholic To The Rescue
  6. Twilight Series (4 books)

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10th Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!  It's been a great long weekend for us. The kids had Friday off school, we had a delicious turkey dinner at home Saturday night and a visit with friends later on.  Last night Mr. K and I went to my aunts for another amazing turkey dinner with my family.

I am happy to say that we STILL haven't turned the heat on - however, after seeing the weather forecast for the next 2 weeks, I don't think it will be much longer.

Friday, October 7, 2016

#OTTAWA Indoor Trick or Treating Locations For Halloween 2016

When my kids were small, I always loved hitting up the local mall with them on Halloween.  It was so much fun to see all the little kiddies dressed up in costume, going store to store with their buckets or goodie bags.

Here is a list of local places that hold indoor trick or treating for 2016

Update On September Writing Challenge

Last month I took part in a writing challenge. The goal was to write and publish a post daily for the entire month. That's right, 30 posts.  Well, I came close - but I didn't succeed with the 30 posts.  I missed one day as there was a death in the family.

I learned something during the challenge - I don't like publishing daily.  I find I stress out about having to have something published each day, and I would rather take my time and if I have the chance, to schedule content over a few weeks.

By doing this, it ensures that there will be new content on the blog in the weeks to come, and if anything comes up then I am covered by scheduled posts.  I can always move things around or post more if I feel like it.

It was, however, a great way to get back into blogging after taking most of the summer off.  The kids and I had a great time together, and I will look back on that time with fond memories. Much better than having spent most of it working.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Top 10 Family Friendly Halloween Movies

We are a movie loving family, and love to choose films that match the time of year when possible. With Halloween coming up, I thought I would put together a list of my top 10 picks for Family friendly Halloween movies

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Help Erika and Mason Fundraiser October 22nd #Ottawa

Hey guys - I am posting this on behalf of a mother in my community that is looking for a little bit of help.  If you are seeking something fun for the family on October 22nd, think about joining in the activities for this fundraiser. Chapters Rideau will also be donating a portion of sales on October 20th.

"I am a single mother of the most amazing, resilient and happy little toddler anyone knows. My son is 20 months old and was born with a rare congenital heart defect called hypo-plastic left heart syndrome. Basically, he was born with the left side of his heart critically underdeveloped. The left side is responsible for providing oxygenated blood to the extremities and he doesn't have a lot of strength to fight normal childhood illness like other children.
He has already undergone two open heart surgeries that only improve his quality of life. They aren't a cure. He needs one more surgery next year and more down the road. Despite having undergone so many awful procedures and living most of his life in and out of the hospital at Sick Kids in Toronto, he still has the courage to smile and play like healthy happy boy. The only thing is, I need help. It is extremely difficult going through this alone emotionally but financially. Next year when he has the last palliative option, there is a high chance we will have to stay in the hospital a while. I hope that you will support us by attending!"

You can find out a little more information by checking out the eventbrite link or if you cannot make it, consider donating here

Apple HomeKit is Finally Ready to Make an Impression!

More than two operating systems ago – when Apple rolled out iOS 8 – the tech world became abuzz talking about the promise of an Apple powered smart home. The problem? Apple’s HomeKit never really took off the way most thought it would. Some attribute it to an unfulfilled pledge to make interfacing with smart home devices simpler, while others felt that it was too difficult to find a decent third-party mobile app – even though by last count, there were over 20 of them. Others still, found the selection of compatible devices to be woefully underwhelming.

With the release of iOS 10, the first operating system to include a proprietary HomeKit app, critics are once again becoming believers that Apple’s smart home technology will not only be among the leaders in terms of functionality, but from a DIYers perspective, lead the way with the easy to operate and intuitively designed interface that Apple customers have grown accustomed to lo these many years.

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3rd Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

How is it possible that we are into October already? Thanksgiving is just a week away - crazy.  Every year our goal is to make it to Thanksgiving without turning our heat on - in 12 years, I think we have only made it twice.  So far this year, we are good. No heat has been needed. There have been some chilly mornings, but the lowest the temperature inside the house has gotten to was 16.  It's normally sitting around 17 in the morning, and warms up to 18 or 19 in the afternoon.

Really hoping we won't have to cave before next week....