Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Celebrate And Save With Fisher-Price

November is here! That means that it's totally acceptable to start thinking about, dreaming about, and planning all your holiday and Christmas related events. I'm totally with even Christmas lights being turned on already. I know, I know, you might think it's a bit too early for that, but I love everything about the holidays.

My children have already started making their 'wish-lists' and I love seeing the things they want. I don't want to break the bank this year, so I'm trying to be good and budget.

Since my boys love a lot of Fisher-Price toys, especially all the Imaginext stuff, I love seeing that Fisher-Price has been so generous with their Celebrate & Safe program that runs until November 30, 2012. It's like they're giving us yet anothe reason to shop, share, and play!

My children are the ones who guide me in the right direction when it comes to purchasing toys. I love seeing them lost in the world of play, and I know that the items they love and play with from Fisher-Price are totally mom-approved by me.

You can use the amazing coupons that Fisher-Price has right now to get a head start on your holiday shopping! Check out the amazing savings!

It's also fun to take some time with your little ones and look through the Fisher-Price website. My boys love doing this with me on my laptop. They currently love the Fisher-Price  Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle, and play with it for hours on end... and this month you can save $10 when buying that. It's sure to be a huge hit this holiday season, I promise you that! I even love playing with it... it's quite the castle with lots of hidden doors.
The coupons are vaild until December 31, so you can even do some post-holiday shopping!

Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Play On

This one is just for the girls!

Remember the first time... all those years ago... that you first got your period? I don't think any of us will forget that day. Not exactly a day we were joyous about, but certainly a day that took us up a level in maturity, and feeling like we were moving from children to... pre-adults. Right?

Do you remember, though, the stories we'd hear? Stories about not washing our hair while we had our periods, and how we should avoid swimming in the ocean because the blood would attrack sharks? Oh, the stories, (some of them crazy!) were plentiful, and I'm sure we all have a tale or two from our past that we'd love to share with our friends.

Now we are older and wiser, and many of us have daughters who will soon be entering this new stage of their lives. (I've got two boys myself, so these conversations won't be happening in my house!) Soon, you'll be having some serious discussions. It's easier to talk about sensitive subjects and share advice with our closest friends and hopefully, you have an open enough relationship with your daughter(s) to be able to be open with them and answer any and all of their questions more realistically than some of things we heard when we were growing up!

Of course, it's most important that we make sure we're comfortable and feel protected when it's our time of the month.

Playtex Gentle Glide 360 tampons are asking Canadian women to share any advice they have—or any advice they received from their moms—when they first got their period, for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card.

And here's a bonus: if you share the advice you received on Twitter to @PlaytexGG, using the #PlayOn hash-tag, you can win a $100 gift card from me, thanks to my friends at Playtex.

All you have to do is send out a tweet with your advice and leave me a comment here and I'll pick a winner randomly on November 23rd, 2012. It's that simple! Share your advice—funny, wise, ridiculous—on Twitter, to @PlaytexGG, leave me a comment below telling me you did, and voila, you could win $100! You can tweet once a day, too, until November 22nd, 2012.

Good Luck!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, and I was compensated for writing this.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Joy Of Play With Fisher-Price

I've been a huge fan of everything Fisher-Price since... well, since I was a child, myself. Now that I'm a mom, Fisher-Price has been a constant in our home since the day we became parents. Both my boys have had so many Fisher-Price items, and toys, that it's hard to keep track of what we loved best.

Now that they're older—four and seven years old—it's nice knowing that they can still laugh, play, and learn with Fisher-Price.

As you know, my little one is a huge fan of everything having to do with Batman and that is solely because of the Batcave we recieved to review from Fisher-Price all those months ago. My child still plays for hours on end with his Batman Batcave, and we have pretty much bought everything else Imaginext makes that goes along with the Batman world. There is almost nothing left to buy for Christmas, but I am saving a few items for him that I know he is going to love!

I also loving seeing my four year old involved in play with his older brother—this play time is helping teach them the importance of sharing and listening and it is helping them solve problems and build a stronger friendship with one another.

Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lost In Play

I love being part of the #FisherPriceMoms groups with Mom Central Canada. Seriously, ever since my family received that first box with the Batman Batcave from the Imaginext line, my four year old has become rather... obsessed... (in a good way!) with superheros and especially with the entire Batman world.

My boys have been very busy and active this summer, from going away on vacations to south Florida and Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, and swimming almost daily here in Ottawa, but they also get a few hours a day to enjoy playing at home and doing their own thing.

First thing in the morning, even before my youngest son has had a bite of breakfast, he's in front of his Batman section, playing. I love it! He's lost in his world of imagination and play and it's rather adorable.

I've always been a huge fan of Fisher-Price; after all, almost all the items my boys had in our home since they were babies have been from Fisher-Price, and now that my boys are older, it is nice to see that they're still very much a part of our lives.

You know what else I love? The Fisher-Price Joy of Learning Playtime Guide. I love that I click on the ages of my children to find out more about the stages they're at:

Making friends, forming ideas, following rules … it’s all coming together now, just in time for school! Imagination also reaches new levels, and athletic abilities start to shine. Here, you’ll find ways to make creativity and problem-solving part of each day for your five-year-old, paving the way for continued learning and a “can-do” approach to life.

My four and a half year old has a really awesome "can-do" approach to life, and it's been amazing watching him grow, (as well as his brother) and seeing them play together, and on their own.

I often browse the Fisher-Price website with my son to check out new Batman toys from the Imaginext line, and I have ordered my little dude quite a few items from the website. The website is really easy to use and it totally helps us make purchasing decisions. It's also the place we like to go before we actually visit a toy store in person, so we know ahead of time what we want to buy. He loves checking the mail with me, to see if anything new has arrived. We've also promised him a new toy after his first week of school—he starts kindergarten next week and we're all so excited about that!

Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


As we get older, we notice things about our appearance that we may  not be so fond of. For me, that's noticing I don't lose weight as quickly as I used to, which means more hours in the gym, and eating better, and it's also noticing fine lines on my face that never used to be there. I am all for natural ways to help reduce the look of wrinkles and lines on my face, using the best products for me.

I was recently introduced to an anti-wrinkle treatment that has helped thousands of women before me. This company was created in 1998 and is still around, still selling their all-natural product to women around the world. Frownies used to be a well-kept beauty secret between Broadway and Hollywood stars, but quickly gained popularity by the masses. This anti-wrinkle skin care facial patches are easy to use, and results can be seen quickly.

"Frownies Facial Patches are an effective wrinkle treatment that addresses the physical cause of deep lines and wrinkles on the face. Frownies Facial Patches made from natural, skin-friendly materials, easy to use and work to give a younger appearance. Facial Patches are applied to the forehead winkles between the eyes and across the forehead as well as the crows feet at the corners of the eyes and around the mouth, to gently re-educate the underlying muscles to assume their correct, relaxed and natural appearance. Frownies, traditional patch works at night to eliminate the appearance of skin wrinkles, leaving younger, relaxed-looking skin. Frownies Facial Patches are a true anti-aging skin treatment!"

A natural, proven way to get rid of the lines you don't want on your face? I'm all for it!

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shopping With The Kids

My boys and I (and my mom) just returned from a trip to south Florida. We go at least once a year, and were there in February, too. However, the ocean was calling our name and so we just had to go back for a week of fun at the Westin Diplomat Resort.

I knew that bringing my children's favourite toys on the trip meant I'd have to pack an extra suitcase, but it was well worth it. Afternoons (after a full morning of swimming!) were spend in our hotel room, where my four and six year old boys would play and play and play with all the Fisher-Price Batman toys. They seriously cannot get enough, and it helped keep them busy and out of the hot sun for a few hours a day.

Of course for me no trip to Florida is complete without shopping! Although I like to spend in hours in the Bal Harbour Shops or Aventura Mall, my boys only have a little patience for that kind of shopping...

The kind of shopping they love, though? When I take them to Target or other stores that sell toys! I brought them along with me for our annual trip to Target, stocked up on some Fisher-Price Batman toys they were missing, and bought some beach toys to keep them busy by the pool and ocean while on vacation.

My tip when you're bringing the kids along on shopping trips? Keep it short and sweet, and know what you're there for. You can avoid melt-downs far easier that way! And? Snacks always help, too.

Happy summer shopping!

Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

Miinto: Your One-Stop Shop For Online Fashion Purchases

You all know how much I love shopping, and fashion, right? My new favourite addiction is online shopping. I mean, when I can't make it to the mall, I can still shop, and what can be better than that, right? I love discovering new online places to shop at, that carry brands and items that I instantly fall in love with.

My new obsession? Miinto.com. Miinto.com is all about putting local fashion on the international map. They partner with local, specialty boutiques that inspire global fashion by offering shoppers a unique experience. There is so much to choose from online!

"We partner with local, specialty boutiques that inspire global fashion by offering them a solid, online and social presence."

Minto started up in the United States in 2011, after a successful run in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, and with over 700,000 unique visitors, their website proudly features one of a kind fashions for women, men, and children. Fashion lovers like me have constant, up-to-the-minute fashions to choose from, and shopping online is easy, secure, and fast!

From 7 for all mankind, to BCBG and a great selection of items for children, it can be your one-stop shop for all your fashion related online purchases.

"On our website, we offer everything that a self-confident woman needs: adorable accessories, swimwear outfits, blouses, pants, suits, jackets, jeans, dresses, lingerie, skirts, shorts, shoes, jewelry, bags, watches, hosiery, rompers, sweaters and much more. No matter which type of a woman you are, you will find something beautiful on our listing because we have thousands of different fashion brands here waiting to be discovered by you."

Miinto.com has generally agreed to give each of my readers $15 to shop at their online boutique! All you haev to do is "like" their facebook page by clicking here.
 Leave me a comment and I'll contact you on how to get your gift card! I'll accept entries until June 15, 2012.
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Making Friday night even more awesome: the Pizza Hut Dinner Box!

I work full time, so when I'm finally home at the end of a long work day, I prefer to spend those precious hours with my children, playing, talking, laughing and just catching up.

Most nights my boys will (thankfully) already have eaten dinner by the time I get home, because my inlaws and parents look after them when I'm at work and often do the school pick-up. On the nights that I'm lucky to be with them before they've had dinner, I like to keep things simple, and save the complicated cooking for the weekend. That's why we love to have pizza most Friday nights. It's a simple dinner solution, and the entire family is always happy. Pizza is, after all, my favourite meal.

Pizza Hut is my favourite place to bring the kids on Friday nights because I know we'll be well fed, and leave completely satisfied. Right now, Pizza Hut has something totally awesome for the family: the Dinner Box.  

The Pizza Hut Dinner Box is an entire meal in a box, and includes appetizer, main course, and dessert. Inside you'll find 10 signature WingStreet boneless chicken bites, 1/2 a PANormous Pizza, and Chocolate Dunkers. Your kids will LOVE this, trust me. The best part? It's just under $20. Talk about a great family dinner!

What goes great with pizza on Friday night? Making it even more awesome by ending the evening with a movie and some popcorn. This is a really fun Friday night family tradition we've come to love.

Pizza Hut recently gave me some gift cards so my family could experience the delicious Dinner Box, and we loved it so much. I'm so excited because they're also giving one of my fabulous readers a $50 gift card, too, so YOU and your family can experience this awesome meal, too.

To enter to win, just tell me what your Friday night tradition is! I'll pick a winner randomly on June 1st, 2012. GOOD LUCK!

Hungry for more information? Visit www.pizzahut.ca.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Strawberry and cream cupcakes, oh my!

I love entertaining my friends over the summer. Summer entertaining is more relaxed and laid back, and we can just all chill outside with a cold beverage while the BBQ is on. The thing is, I'm not the greatest cook, and I often buy a lot of foods that are already prepared when I'm having people over. Getting a party catered, or taking the steps I know will make things easier for me is totally okay with me.

However, I will always make something for desert. And because summer is almost here, I am really into deserts that are light and not too heavy. Like strawberry and cream cupcakes. Don't they just sound divine? I know this will be a summer treat staple in my house! Especially because my children love strawberry picking every summer. Now, we can do even more with our fresh fruit!

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.

BBQ Time!

I just got back from spending a few days in Biscayne Bay, Miami. I was at the Ritz-Carleton for the Mom 2.0 conference, and it was absolutely incredible. Connecting with my fellow bloggers, re-connecting with old friends, listening to inspiring women speak, enjoying the ocean and taking in the scenary, and, of course, enjoying the food. Getting back to Ottawa wasn't too hard because the weather is starting to really get nice. Yesterday, my boys and I spent hours at the park, and the summer-like weather reminded me of all the yummy things I love to eat in the heat. The best part about summer? Less is more. Seriously, my appetite totally shrinks in the summertime, which is a great thing, since I'm often by the pool or in the pool. Salads and BBQ's? Yes, please!

I love the BBQ ideas I have found on Life Made Delicious, because they're easy and so delicious. Salmon is a family favourite, and in the summertime, we can BBQ it up a number of different ways. I love the grilled salmon with sugar snaps and corn - and, the best part? So do my children!

I hope you all get to enjoy a lot of quality time this summer with your family, and I hope you're getting to BBQ often, too - after all, that's what summer is all about!

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.

Fisher-Price toys keep my boys busy!

Finally, May is here!

It seems like we've been waiting forever to say that, and to finally put the April showers behind us, but now, I want to press "pause", to make sure we enjoy every second. I love when the rain gives up and we're left with new flowers and green leaves on the trees.

Yes, summer just happens to be my most favourite season. I love it for so many reasons, but mostly because it means I get to spend a lot of quality time with my children, indoors, and outdoors, of course, at the park, in the pool, in the backyard, and just those days when you want to stay in and play to your heart's content. My boys recently received an amazing big package from Fisher-Price, and they were just giddy with excitement to see the box. It was almost as big our front door! (Well, not quite that large, but you get the idea...)

My boys truly love the new Imaginext toys from Fisher-Price. They're so much fun to play with, and my four year old especially loves the variety of the toys he received. His favourite, still, is the Batcave. Thanks for Fisher-Price my little one has fallen in love with a superhero, and it's adorable to see him playing with all his toys. It builds the imagination, and I cannot get enough of him talking while he's playing. Thank you Fisher-Price!

Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Play Panel and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Speroway: Delivering Hope For Needy Children

As a mom of two children, I like to raise awareness of organizations that do good for other children, especially for children who are sick or in need. Feed The Children Canada, who has changed its name to Speroway - is an organization I'm proud to support because of all the work they do for needy children here in Canada, and as far away as Haiti.

Speroway is a registered Canadian charity that responds to the needs of children and their families here in Canada and around the world by providing food, medicine, education, and other essentials. They deliver and distribute more than 13.5 million pounds of food in 32 countries around the world.

Their new goal? To build a medical clinic in Haiti! And to help raise awareness of this worthwhile cause, they're running a pretty amazing contest right now. Just check out this prize pack:

1 iPad HD 2012 (16GB)
A $500 WaySpa Gift Card
A Cineplex Night Out Gift Pack for 4
2 “Big Kaboodle” combo packs from Mabel’s Labels

It's so simple to enter the contest, too - just go here, and voila, you're entered!

And just so you know, you don't have to donate in order to enter the contest.

Full contest rules here.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mother's Day Made Sweet

There really and truly isn't anything I need for Mother's Day. I mean, sure, a new designer purse would be nice, but I'll settle for a day at home with my children. After all, they're the reason I get to celebrate Mother's Day, and I don't get how on a day where you're being honored for being a mom, you'd want to spend it away from your children!

Sure, I'd accept a gift certificate to the spa, but I'll wait a few days to go for my massage. On Mother's Day, I just want to be home with my boys. And you know, maybe, just maybe, being served breakfast in bed? Just an idea I'm putting out there... ahem. Mother's Day breakfast would be grand!

I love eggs, and bacon and toast... and a fresh coffee would be nice. I'd love to actually drink my coffee warm, too... that's not too much to ask for, is it?

You know what else I am totally craving? Baked caramel pecan french toast. Oh, my goodness... just saying that makes me hungry!

No matter how you spend your Mother's Day, I hope it's as sweet as the picture above!

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, April 14, 2012

Easter traditions

Every holiday becomes more special and meaningful once children are in the picture. Before having children, I loved Christmas and Easter, but since becoming a mom? These special holidays take on a whole new meaning.

Being Greek Orthodox means we celebrate Easter (most years) a week or two after Catholic Easter. The bonus to this? I get to stock up on all the chocolates after they're on sale!

The tradition for my family is attending church on Good Friday, and again on Easter Sunday morning. But first things first! When the children wake up, they are given a basket and off they go, on an Easter egg hunt. Yes, breakfast on Easter morning usually consists of just chocolate, but that's okay, because the rest of the day is spent eating. And eating. And eating. We celebarte with all our family, and we enjoy a lamb on the spit, along with so many other delicious food. It's a day of feasting, drinking, eating, dancing, and celebrating. Of course, we also crack red eggs, and eat tsoureki, special Greek sweet bread.

Besides the Easter baskets of goodies the children get to enjoy, other traditions are when the Godparents buy their Godchild new shoes or clothes for Easter, and a decorated candle to bring to church.

This year, I also got the children something extra for Easter - a new light saber for my six year old, and the Fisher-Price batcave for my four year old. He's completely fascinated with Batman, and this is all thanks to the amazing Batman Fisher-Price toys we received because I'm part of Fisher-Price Moms.
Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Easter treats in time for Greek Easter!

Tomorrow is finally my Easter! Yes, last week I was able to celebrate a long weekend with my family, while stocking up on Easter chocolate - on sale - and tomorrow? My boys get to finally take part in their Easter egg hunt, followed by a big Greek feast. Easter is the holiday Greek people celebrate the most, almost even more than Christmas. We are always at my inlaw's home, or at my parents home, for Easter, enjoying the lamb on the spit, along with a dozen or so side dishes and appetizers, so I don't have to sweat it in the kitchen, which makes me ridiculously happy.
However, I don't mind making yummy Easter treats for everyone enjoy. I've perfected the carrot cake, and even decorating can be fun, as long as I keep it simple. That's why I love the Easter sweets page with Life Made Delicious. So many adorable ideas, and easy to make! I need easy!

Like these little cookies. They're almost too cute eat, you know? But you know they're going to taste so good, too...

I think these would be perfect cookies to bring to a relative's house during the Easter festivities - they'll be a hit with the adults and children alike! Also? I can get my children involved in making these, too! Baking with kids can be fun, and easy, if you pick something simple to make with them!

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.

Decorating a child's room with style and ease

One of the things I looked forward to the most when I got pregnant was getting to design the perfect nursery for my children.

Decorating the nursery was a blast, from start to finish, and I had a very hands-on husband who did all the hard work, from installing the hardwood floors, to adding new baseboards, chair rail, and crown moulding, as well as painting the room.

 Of course,  I spent hours online looking for the perfert TheRoomPlace.com furniture for their room. From cribs, to change tables and bookcases, selecting the perfect items was not as easy as I thought it was going to be! And of course, I would get distracted online, and start looking at furntire for other rooms in the house, making the decision to narrow down what I wanted for my children even harder.

Although it was a bit challenging to find just what I was looking for, decorating kids' rooms is a blast, and I had so much fun with both my children's rooms, I couldn't wait for them to outgrow their baby furniture so I could start getting their new 'big boy' furniture. And now that my sister is a mom of two little ones, I had a say in decorating her children's rooms, too, and gave her some great advice on where to look online to make her decision easier, as well.

The most important items in a child's room, I think, are their night tables and book cases. My boys basically have a library each in their rooms! Also important? Making sure you've place the furntire in the rooms in the best possible way, making the best use of the space you have to work with. You may have to move some pieces around until you find the perfect fit for your new furniture, but eventually, the room will just perfectly come together - just like that! And all  your hard work will have paid off, and your children can finally enjoy their new, beautiful, well-furnished bedroom.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Cooking With My Boys!

I could write a book about all the things I love to do with my children to keep them - and myself - happy and busy. Since cooking is not the thing I do best, I often do other things, like crafts, painting, and having fun with outdoor adventures, like looking for fossils, swimming, and going for walks to the park. However, sometimes, I do cook with my children, despite the fact that my kitchen looks like a tornado went through it after we are done!

I usually stick to cooking safe (read: easy!) recipes, and I always go to here to find the best and easy recipes for my family.

As soon as I saw the recipe for the Broccoli and Tortellini Light Alfredo  Sauce, I knew it would be a huge hit with my boys, and a great way to get them to eat their veggies, too!

I get them to help out by grating fresh cheese, setting the table, and helping serve the food. It's a family affair, and we are left full and completely satisfied - this dish is delish, and healthy - a family favourite, for sure!

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.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Easter treats made easy with Life Made Delicious!

Today is cold. But, it's still not April. We were just spoiled with really nice weather last week. We're talking plus 30 degrees nice weather. We're talking kids running through the sprinkler nice weather! Today, we have the fire place on. However, spring is officially here, and that means it's time to start thinking about Easter. Easter is the biggest celebration for my family, because we're Greek. Easter is even bigger than Christmas for Greek people!

We enjoy the lamb on the spit as well as dozens of other dishes, but I always love to make a few special treats for the entire family to enjoy, like carrot cake with fresh cream cheese icing.

I also love making cupcakes with my children, especially for special holidays like Easter, and this Easter cupcake recipe from Life Made Delicious is simply adorable, don't you agree?

Actually, all the Easter dessert recipes look amazing, and I know I'll be making a few this year!

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.

Celebrate and Save with Fisher-Price!

As a busy mom of two little boys, I always looking for new educational and fun toys to help keep my children busy. Fisher-Price is a very familiar name in our household, because Fisher-Price is tried, tested, and true. Ever since I was a child, I have loved Fisher-Price products. I love that I've passed my love on to my children now, and I love how they old classic toys are back in stores now, from the record player to the musical television that I enjoyed as a child. When I was a new mom, most of the baby products and toys in my house were made by Fisher-Price.

Right now, Fisher-Price has some amazing deals for moms to help them save on the items that they'll need to help keep their little ones busy, while having fun. Fisher-Price's Celebrate and Save promotion is amazing! You can save up to $90!

What other excuse do you need to shop, right? It's the perfect time to stock up on all those gifts for friends who are having babies and for the little infants in your life, whether your own, or for a close friend. You can even think ahead and get some items checked off your Christmas shopping list. That's planning ahead! With deals like this, you're going to want to start shopping now.

Coupons are available in-store at Toys R Us and Zellers and online.
You can save $20 off any Fisher-Price swing that's $130 or more, and save $10 off the Ocean Wonders Awuarium - my boys loved this when they were babies! You can also save off any Little People items, as well as Imaginext items.
Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Comfort food

It's one of those days. The weather is less than perfect, I've got a hundred things on the go, and I have not had a second to sit down to think about what I'm going to make the children for dinner.

It is amazing how quickly time passes when you're busy, and this is both a blessing, and a curse. Whenever I am stuck, and left with no ideas for dinner, I visit Life Made Delicious because there is always something on their site that I know my children would love to eat.

As you know, I'm not the best cook there is - and I am slowly learning that this is okay. However, when I get my recipes from LMD, I feel confident that I won't screw up, and I feel confident that my children will love what I put in front of them. There will be no massive explosions in the kitchen, and there will be no "But moooom... we don't like this!" coming from the mouths of my babes.

I like to play safe, and cook my boys different pasta dishes that are always healthy, too. Pasta just happens to be my favourite meal to eat!

For more ideas on what to cook for dinner tonight, check out these amazing ideas!

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.

Ontario: There's No Place Like Home...

Before becoming a mom, I complained an awful lot about living where I do, because I found that there wasn't enough TO do. Well, all that has changed, because boy, do I love where I live now! I love the wonderful museums we have, I love the safe streets, and I love all the events and fairs and festivals that go on in Ontario throughout the year, including winter.

There is always so much to do in Ontario that my family could choose to do something different almost every weekend, right here in Ottawa.

One amazing activity for the children to partake in in the winter is Winterlude, a huge winter festival that takes place right here in the nation's capital! Skating on the world's longest canal is more fun than you can image, and I'm not just saying that because of the Beavertails and hot chocolate we can enjoy while skating!

This province has so much to offer families with children of all ages, from outdoor activities to cultural experiences in one of our many fine museums.

We love to visit Crystal Gardens and Snowflake Kingdom over Winterlude, because there is so much for the children to do, and see.

To find out more about what Ontario has to offer your family, check out Ontario Travel for all the information, and make sure Ontario is on your list of "Places to vacation to as soon as possible!"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy to be a Fisher-Price mom! (My boys love it, too!)

Winter is almost over, and I'm so, so ready for the change of seasons. Spring cannot come soon enough. We were lucky to have spent a week in sunny, warm Florida at the beginning of this month, but now, the days are dragging, and I can tell my boys are getting sick and tired of dressing up in their winter attire. I know this because they tell me every day, and complain to me about the fact that we don't live in Florida.

Of course, we stay busy, with playdates and visits to our favourite museums, and I try to keep my boys entertained with reading time and crafts and more, but sometimes, the best play takes place when they recive a new package from Fisher-Price, toys that they play with for hours on end.

Fisher-Price has been a huge part of my childhood, and every time I see an old vintage toy from the days when I was young, it brings back special memories. Of course, so many items belonging to my children now are by Fisher-Price, too many to name, in fact!

My boys were so happy to tear into the new package that Fisher-Price sent me, toys that were age appropriate and fun to play with. They received the Imaginext® DC Super Friends™ The Joker's Fun House and Batman's awesome helicopter, as well as the Imaginext® DC Super Friends™ Batcave. These awesome toys have kept both my boys happy, and I love seeing them playing together and happy. It totally reminds me of when I was a little girl, fascinated with He-Man and She-Ra and their castles. It's so cute to see my boys playing so nicely together!

I love hearing the little discussions they have when they're lost in the world of play, my youngest, who just turned four years old at the end of January, brings his Batcave with him to other rooms of the house sometimse, to play in a more quiet area of the house. The little action figures (Batman, Robin, The Joker) are quite cute, too.

Thanks, Fisher-Price, for always coming up with new and awesome toys for my children to fall in love with. It's great seeing them lost in imagination!

Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

GIVEAWAY: The LG Optimus LTE smartphone!

I have always loved watching awards shows. I love the Acadamy Awards, especially. I used to watch every single nominated film, which made watching the Acadamy Awards that much more fun. Since becoming a mom, I haven't had as much time to see every nominated film, but there are always a handful I'll make time to watch before the big night. And usually? I'm bang on with my predictions of which movie will take Best Picture, or who will win Best Actress and Best Actor.

I've always been in love with the world of entertainment, and interning at Entertainment Tonight was sort of like a dream come true for me. I left that internship early to accept a job offer in radio back home, a decision I have come to regret. Anyway, I digress... back to The Oscars! Seeing my favourite actors hit the red carpet in gorgeous gowns and perfect hair makes me excited. You know what's even more exciting than just watching The Oscars at home? Tweeting about The Oscars. Seriously, watching awards shows has become so much more fun since Twitter has come into our lives. Actually, watching anything on TV is so much more fun with Twitter!

It's constant chatter, and laughter, and OMG's, and what is she wearing, and ew look at her hair, and can you believe how beautiful she looks, and look at him, he's so dreamy, and hands off, Clooney is mine, and so on, all night long.

It's like, a virtual party, you know? Social media plays a huge part in allowing people to stay connected during awards shows. And that's just awesome. Twitter and Facebook are so much fun after a show's season finale, or after a big awards show like The Oscars. Comments, chatter, conversation, disagreements, and nods in unison bring us even closer, even though we're not in the same room.

Without our smartphones, watching awards shows wouldn't be as fun. I wouldn't want anyone to miss out on the all the fun we'll be having on our phones come Oscar night, so I'm happy to announce that I am giving away - thank you TELUS! - a brand new LG Optimus LTE! This smartphone will be your perfect companion for awards season. And although the winner won't actually receive the phone in time for this year's Oscar celebrations, there will always be something to watch together.

The LG Optimus LTE is a state of the art smartphone equipped with both an 8 megapixel camera and video camera.

The LG Optimus LTE is the perfect blend of super-fast data speeds and an amazing 4.5” HD display. Powered by Android2.3 and equipped with a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, the LG Optimus LTEis sharp, bright, fast and powerful.

The LG Optimus LTE lets users stay connected to everyone through video chat with a 1.3MP front-facing camera. It also offers an 8MP camera with 1080p video recording to take self-portraits or just capture life’s moments.

The LG Optimus LTE is an LTE device that will also run nationally on TELUS’ coast-to-coast HSPA+ network (which covers 97% of the Canadian population), so TELUS customers across Canada can enjoy it virtually anywhere.

Good Luck! I will pick a winner randomly on Sunday, February 26th. One entry per email address, please.

Iron Kids: Keeping Your Kids Healthy, One Gummy At A Time!

Our mission at IronKids is to help your kids stay healthy and active. From Multi-vitamins to Omega 3's, our great tasting gummies are specially formulated to support the health, growth and development of your children. Start your kids on the path to lifelong health with Ironkids Gummies.

As a mom, I try hard to ensure my children are eating well. Of course, like most of you know, this can be a very difficult task at times. Getting my boys to eat the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day is not easy! That is why I think it's so important to include a daily vitamin in their life - one that they love and look forward to taking.

My boys also take the Omega-3 gummies, which are Canada’s #1 omega for kids.
They are specially formulated with pure source DHA and EPA, essential fatty acids that are needed for the optimum development of a child’s brain and nervous system and supporting a healthy cardiovascular system. IronKids Omega-3 gummies are made with only natural flavors and natural colors and they are Health Canada approved. Only pure source triple distilled fish oil is used to ensure that your child gets the purest product possible. All IronKids Gummies are made in a nut free facility, and are allergen and gluten free.

For the last couple of years, my boys have been in love with Iron Kids vitamins. I'm not kidding - these are the best children's vitamins around! I sometimes have to hide the bottle because my boys, if they had their way, would eat handfuls at a time! There really is no better tasting vitamin, and they also come in an adult version, as well - I like the taste of the adult vitamins, as well, even the B12 vitamins, but my favourite will always be the children's multi-vitamins. So tasty, better than any other we have tried!
Every time we're in at the Superstore grocery shopping, we always stock up, because we go through so many of them.

If there is one brand of vitamins I would recommend to everything I know, Iron-Kids are it - both for adults, and children alike!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A CHEESY giveaway for YOU!

The holidays are over, Valentine's Day is upon us, and soon, winter will be over. Sure, I'm optimistic, but there is nothing I am looking forward to more than seeing green grass and blue skies again. I love having friends over for appetizers and drinks, especially when we can make use of the backyard patio. I also love coming up with new and tasty snack ideas for my guests - and my children, too!

Parmalat Canada recently sent me an amazing package La Crème Cow - a new line of spreadable snack cheeses that I fell in love with! My boys, of course, also could not get enough. Available in three delicious flavours, Original, Light, and Parmesan and Peppercorn, each wedge of cheese has a delicious mild taste with a very smooth and creamy texture. La Crème Cow spreadable cheese is a great everyday snack option because it is convenient - each piece is individually wrapped and can easily be stored and spread on whatever you enjoy.

We love ours on crackers, and I have to say, it's hard to just stop snacking on this tasty treat! Of course, what good is enjoying a tasty snack like this if I can't share it with my readers?

I'd love to send one of you a $100 exclusive La Crème Cow review pack which includes product coupons, cheese tray with utensils/serving plates/napkins, and an assortment of yummy crackers!

All you have to do to win? Leave me a comment below telling me what your favourite snack is!

This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, and I will randomly pick a winner on February 18th.

Good Luck!

Love month!

February is all about love, don't you think? Of course tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so that means there will be NO mention of the word diet, right? I mean, what good is Valentine's Day if you can't enjoy chocolate and everything sweet and oh-so-sinful?

I love everything red, pink, and white on February 14th. Especially if it comes in the form of something sweet to eat! Like the icing on these most delicious cupcakes... mmmm!

I also think this chocolate sweetheart cake is simply fabulous!

A special treat to make for your loved one and/or your children on the 14th. And it's really simple to make, so you don't have to spend all of Valentine's Day in the kitchen!

Leave it to my friends at Life Made Delicious to come up with cute, easy to make treats for every event!

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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fisher-Price Moms: Keeping busy in the winter!

My children love summer and spending time outside. Usually, we're either at the park, or in the pool during the hot days of summer. I find it a bit more challenging to find fun and creative things for my boys to do when we're in the middle of winter. Luckily, my boys don't dislike winter as much as I do, and they love playing outside. (I'm usually waving at them from the window, staying warm inside!)

We just got back from our annual vacation to south Florida, where we spend a week a gorgeous resort, where there was so much to do for the children. However, our vacation is only one week long, so I have to think of other ways to keep my boys busy in the winter! Here are some of the things we do to stay busy:

Crafts - I have a few boxes of crafts that I take out on weekends and set up the kitchen into a craft zone. I let them get messy, and have fun! I love displaying their art work in the play room in the basement, too.

Making a band - My boys (especially my four year old!) love music. We have a drum set in our house now, and we'll create our own band, and sing and dance the time away.

Movie nights - Some nights, my boys love to cuddle on the couch and eat popcorn while watching a movie. I'm a big fan of this, since it means I get extra cuddle time with my boys enjoying a yummy snack!

Building snowmen - My boys love going outside to build snowmen, and to just play freely in the backyard. When you're six and four years old, what's not to love about the snow, right?

Playing school - This is a fun game for the boys, as they take turns being the 'teacher' while learning! It's fun to see them interacting with one another this way, while at the same time learning something new, too.

Visiting museums - We are members at all the museums in Ottawa, and we love visiting different museums on the weekends. It's a great way to do something fun and educational while staying warm indoors!

For even more ideas on how to keep busy with your little ones, check out this awesome link on the Fisher-Price website that'll help you keep your kids busy - and warm - this winter!

Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Healthy eating: Healthy YOU!

I recently went for an ECG. I was having chest pains, and although I thought it was likely because I am over-stressed with never enough time to get all the things done that I need to get done, I did not want to not get checked out, because when it comes to anything heart related, it's important to take action.

I quit smoking over a year ago, I stay physically active and I eat well... most of the time. One of the reasons I love the recipes on the Life Made Delicious website is because they're easy to make (for me this is very important!) and some of the recipes are very healthy, for the entire family to enjoy.

Like the Greek Beef and Orzo recipe - I am going to try this soon and I hope my kids will love it! (How could they not, really? We are Greek, after all!)

I am also looking forward to cooking the Healthified Chicken and Broccoli-Parmesan Pasta Recipe - pasta and parmesan are my two favourite words! I know my kids will definitely love this meal, too.

Another thing to keep in mind: maintaining a low cholesterol diet is very important.

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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

HEXBUG Nano: A review!

This Christmas, my three year old was extremely excited to open a few big boxes under the tree—he had no idea what was waiting for him, and when the paper was finally ripped off, he was screaming with delight. Yup, before him was an entire world of HEXBUG Nano's!

I first fell in love with HEXBUG's at BlogHer in 2010, in New York City. I was lucky enough to bring some home to show my children, and they thought they were the neatest little creatures!

This holiday season, I was so excited to be given the opportunity to review the entire HEXBUG Nano line. I received:
1 HEXBUG Nano 5-Pack
5 Glows in the Dark HEXBUG Nano bugs
1 Glow in the Dark HEXBUG Nano Habitat Set
1 HEXBUG Nano Spiral Starter Set·
1 HEXBUG Nano Bridge Battle Habitat Set
1 HEXBUG Nano Elevation Habitat Set·
1 Carton of “Bug Food” (batteries)
1 Mini Screwdriver
The hard part was hiding these boxes somewhere in my house where my children wouldn't find them! I also had such a hard time not showing them the boxes right away, because I knew they'd be beyond thrilled.
HEXBUG Nano's are the cute little bugs that don't scare me as much as the real ones do—and they're so realistic! They act like real bugs, flip over by themselves, and look real, too.

We put together the HEXBUG Nano Spiral Starter Set first, and it was so cool to see the bugs buzz around on two levels—they had so much to explore, and my boys had so much fun watching and playing! The customized track is expandable and interchangeable with all other Habitat Set products, so we were able to create our own 'world', too.

The HEXBUG Nano Elevation Habitat Set is amazing—it features a multi-level sprial and bridges that can basically hold the entire HEXBUG Nano collection! It was a blast to put together, and my boys got lost in play as they built their 'own' levels and 'roads' for their little HEXBUG's. We have an entire community of HEXBUG's to play with, and they just couldn't get enough on Christmas Day! The HEXBUG Bridge Battle Habitat Set allows kids (and adults, too, as I quickly got lost in the fun of building, too!) to create the ultimate battleground for the HEXBUG Nano. This made my boys really, really happy.

Of course, the Glow in the Dark HEXBUG Nano Galileo Collection and the Glow in the Dark HEXBUG Nano Starter Set and Habitat Set are so neat, too! The Glow in the Dark HEXBUG Nano Starter Set is perfect for any first time HEXBUG Nano owner and it's also a perfect gift to give to a child celebrating his or her birthday. It's pretty much guaranteed that any child who receives this gift will be excited!

My boys and I were thrilled to review (and play, non-stop!) with the entire HEXBUG Nano world.

For more information, visit HEXBUG!