Sunday, November 27, 2011

Empire Theatres: Reel Babies!

As a mom who has been on maternity leave twice, I had to come up with creative things to do on a daily basis to entertain my babies and myself. Museum visits, play dates, crafty afternoons, trips to the mall, afternoons at the park, mornings in the pool... the list goes on and on. Sometimes, though, I just wanted to enjoy a medium popcorn and diet coke in the movie theatre while my baby was napping comfortably in his stroller. However, I knew it was probably not appropriate to bring my baby to the movies in case he annoyed the other patrons.

Now? Empire Theatres have come up with the ultimate outing for new parents: Empire Reel Babies! Twice a month, you can see a new release movie in a baby-friendly environment. The lights are dim, the volume is lowered, and you can sit back and watch your movie without worrying about bothering anyone else.

Bonus? Each Reel Babies theatre is equipped with a change table, bottle warmer, play mat, exersaucer and baby swing, so you can take care of all your babies needs without having to even step out of the theatre!

Are you interested in checking out Empire Reel Babies? Well, now you can!

I'm giving away tickets for you (and your baby!) along with coupons for $3.00 off general admission to a Reel Babies event.

All you have to do to win? Leave me a comment, telling me what movie you're currently dying to see, and I'll pick a winner randomly on December 10th!

Good Luck!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Empire Reel Babies program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Empire Theatres. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Three Steps to WOW!

It's almost Christmas! With only a few days left until December, we've been busy decorating the house, putting up the Christmas tree (with help from my two little helpers, my boys!) and getting a head start on Christmas shopping. (Don't be jealous, but I'm actually finished all the shopping for my children!)

Next on my to-do list? Holiday baking. I alread made one batch of sugar cookies from the new Betty Crocker cook book, and I was so impressed with how easy these cookies were to make - and okay, I was a little impressed with myself, too! I'm not the greater baker, so if I can actually follow a recipe through, I'm proud of myself. I also love how you can remove the page of the recipe you're working with from the book, and easily insert it back once you're done using it.

Anyway, Life Made Delicious is going to make holiday baking even more easy for me this year, with their Three Steps To Wow recipes! Who wouldn't love to receive these adorable, easy to make snowman cookies? Since they're easy to make, I plan on making as many as I can for co-workers, teachers, and friends.

Of course, holiday baking just wouldn't be the same without getting my children involved, too. Messy kitchens are so worth the fun we all have making new holiday traditions and memories. When my boys are older, they'll be able to say: "Remember those awesome cookies mom used to make?" And the best part? The recipes are so easy to follow, we'll be baking tons this holiday season!

Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Holiday festivities!

I start getting excited for the holidays right after Halloween. Now that we're well into November, Christmas is right around the corner! And this gets me really, really excited. I've always loved the holidays, but more so now that I am a mom - seeing the joy in my children's faces on Christmas Day is something I will always cherish.

I love everything having to do with the holidays, from writing my shopping lists to decorating the house, and shopping until I can't shop anymore for everyone on my list - and I also love entertaining during this festive time. I'm no Martha Stewart in the kitchen, though, but I do love making things that everyone will love. As long as what I am making is simple, because I'm always so pressed for times, and I only do well with really simple recipes!

When I saw this Candy Cane Cake on the Life Made Delicious website, I knew it would be one cake I'd be bringing to my inlaws Christmas morning. A few times a year, I like to surprise them and show them that I can, indeed, make something on my own that actually tastes good! This cake? No exception, I'm sure. It is simple, looks great, and will be a big hit this holiday season!

Happy baking everyone!

Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tag Along Toys and the Neighbourhood Toy Store Day!

Tag Along Toys, one of the cities most fabulous toy stores, is celebrating their first National Neighbourhood Toy Store Day this Saturday, November 12th! (Tag Along Toys is part of NETS - Neightbourhood Toy Stores of Canada, along with 50 other stores across Canada who work together to provide quality, safe, durable products to customers.)
Not only can you shop till you drop, but you'll also be supporting your local Independent Toy Stores!

Also? Tag Along Toys will be having giveaways, contests, treasure hunts and more!

The kids will have a blast and they'll even get to meet Elmo and Dora! I know my three year old son will be so excited (and probably a little shy, too!) to meet Dora live and in person.

Tag Along Toys will also be accepting donations to the Kanata Food Bank.
For more info you can go to Nets Canada.

My Kinder Moments

What do I love almost as much as my children? Chocolate! Well, okay, not quite, but chocolate—good quality chocolate—definitely makes the cut for things I most desire and love in this world, after, of course, my children.

Did you know that you can now celebrate the things you love with My Kinder Moments? Kinder Canada (as if they weren't awesome enough already!) has created a cool little tool through their Facebook page that helps you celebrate and frame the special moments in your life. And moms, I know there are plenty of special moments that need framing!

These frames are not only for celebrating milestone events but for everyday things, too. Like snapping that random awesome picture of your child on the school playground, bath time pictures (perfect for bribing in later years!) and the disasters your children make while they're 'playing'. Hey, why not cherish those moments, too? You can use My Kinder Moments Frames for... well, anything!

Head on over to the Kinder Canada Facebook page to register to create your Kinder Moments album. Here's a bonus: every time you frame a special moment, you'll be entered to win a prize every month—like a $500 digital camera to capture your special moments!

Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Helping children save money

This post was underwritten by BMO Harris Bank, which offers a matching $25 on a new savings account opened for your child through their Helpful Steps for Parents program. Learn more at

You probably know this already, but I have never had good money habits. I spend more than I make, and I'm terrible with saving money for a rainy day. Despite my bad money habits, as a mom of two little boys, I try to teach my children about fiscal responsibility.

Lucky for me, my six year old is a mini Alex P. Keaton.

He loves saving money, collects coins, and asked for a gold bar for his birthday last year. (Which he received, thanks to generous grandparents.) He has four piggy banks in his room: one for spending, one for saving, one sharing, and one for schooling. He loves saving up his money and when we give him money, he decides where to put it.

He's now saved up enough to buy his plane ticket for our annual winter vacation to south Florida! Although this thrills me to no end, I don't think I'm going to take his hard-earned money. He is on the right track with saving, and he's actually teaching me a thing or two! For his birthday last year, he received a little ATM machine for his room - it's amazing, it works, and it has helped encourage him to put away his money, too.

We love to teach our children abou the importance of saving. When we see our boys working hard to save, or when we see that they're keeping rather spending their money, we like to match the amount they have saved. Although I don't often lead by example when it comes to money and saving money, I do try very hard to teach my children how to save, and why it is important to save. It's great to see their enthusiasm when it comes to money - especially saving it!

I also love to see my children's enthusiasm when I take them to the bank to deposit their money. It makes them very proud, teaches them about being responsible, and makes me feel happy as a parent. Rather than my children thinking they're "entitled" to getting everything they want, just like that, I like knowng that they're using money they've saved to get things they want when we go shopping. If they want something, generally speaking, they'll pay for it themselves with their money - money they've saved.

I may not be the best when it comes to saving money myself, but I'm learning, slowly. My children teach me every day about the importance to saving for a rainy day, and for the future. It really is never too early to teach your children this important life lesson.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about BMO Harris Bank, visit their website

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Two tickets to the advanced screening of Breaking Dawn for YOU!

A few years ago, I made fun of everyone who read and watched Twilight. I wouldn't give the movie, or the books, a second glance. I had better things to do with my time than swoon over a vampire. Seriously, I thought. Ew.

And then one night, as I was watching TV, I stumbled upon this movie. I couldn't look away, even after I realized it was Twilight.

Fast-forward a few hours. I was in Costco, purchasing the four books in the Twilight saga: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. For the next few days, I went into hiding. I went to work, but read the books during my breaks and lunch hour. I read during rush hour traffic. I read in the bathroom. I stayed up late into the night finishing book after book until a few days later, I was finished reading the entire saga. I loved all the books, and declared myself Team Edward forever. Of course I questioned my decion after Eclipse when I had a few Team Jacob, maybe? moments, and bought all the DVD's to watch at home, whenever the urge hit me.

I now get the obsession. Even though I'm a 35 year old mom. I also want to shake Bella and yell: "You're so lucky! Stop the sulking, b*tch!"

Anyway, last year, Boston Pizza invited me to attend the advanced screening of New Moon, and this year, I'm happily joining them again for the advanced screening of Breaking Dawn. (Squee!)

I also have two tickets to give away to one of you lucky Twi-hards, too! All you have to do is "Like" Boston Pizza on Facebook for your chance to win! Leave me a comment below telling me you did, and you're entered—simple as that! I will pick a winner on November 7th, randomly.

The advanced screening takes place on November 17th. So you'll be seeing the most anticipated movie of the year (it totally is, don't laugh) before your other friends! Bragging rights on Facebook? I think so!

Hey, your other friends still have a chance to win, too. All they have to do is go to Boston Pizza Orleans, spend $20, and receive a ballot to be entered to win. So maybe they'll be able to join you as well!