Jan 28, 2015

One thing that never ceases to exist in a typical house like ours is stains. With three kids and two adults plus dogs, we have more than our fair share of them. The dogs enjoy rampaging through the house after being outside, especially on the wet days and their paws leave mud and dirt everywhere. The kids spill just about everything on just about anything and don’t get me going about the bottoms of their socks!
Tough stains are always a pain. I used to pre-treat them and wash them a couple of times to try and get as much stain out as I could with sometimes good results but I have yet to find the one method to get rid of tough stains around the house and especially in the laundry.  

We’ve heard about OxiClean before, we’ve seen the commercials on TV demonstrating how amazing it is at getting the toughest stains out of your most prized articles while keeping things looking good. I’ve always wondered if it worked but had yet to try it out. I was happy to have the opportunity to finally put OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover to our family stain test.

OxiClean is a stain fighter in powdered form that activates when mixed with water *warm or hot works best*. Oxygen is released that targets the stain instead of the fabric, removing tough stains on water-washable clothing, carpets, and hard surfaces both inside and outside the home. OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover works to remove tough stains like juice, wine, makeup, coffee, food, pet messes and so  much more.

I decided to start our test with laundry because it’s unavoidable with kids. Clothing is expensive and it seems to be a big magnet for stains. Let’s see how well OxiClean works at making our clothes whiter, brighter and cleaner.

I began by going through the laundry and getting some of the most stained items and running them through a regular load with our favourite detergent and the help of OxiClean. Using OxiClean in the laundry is simple. Fill your washing machine; add your detergent and OxiClean (one scoop for small/medium loads and 2 or more for larger/more soiled loads). Once it’s filled with water, add in your clothes and close the lid. Let your machine (and OxiClean) work their magic.

In addition to my favourite detergent, OxiClean did what it claims and gave my family brighter, whiter and less stained garments. If I had soaked these items in OxiClean and warm water, the stains would have come out even better but for a first attempt I can say I am quite impressed.

That white t-shirt in the top right corner was stained from pasta sauce and it’s pretty much gone. My son’s hockey shirt came out more vibrant and those washcloths look almost new again. Not bad, if I do say so myself!

We also tried OxiClean on my day to day stain cleaning like food on the wall (thanks to my toddler) which cleaned up easily with some warm water and a scoop of OxiClean. It truly lives to its name OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover – you can use it on just about any dirty situation!

What would you use OxiClean for the most?
You can purchase OxiClean products nationwide at Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart locations.
For more information about this and other great OxiClean products, please visit the official website. Like the OxiClean Facebook page for the latest news and updates!

Follow along all the OxiClean chat on Twitter with hashtag #wowOxiClean!

Disclosure: Sponsored post on behalf of OxiClean in participation with SavvyMom Media. Opinions, comments and images in this blog post are those of the author. 

Jan 27, 2015

Special occassions require special gifts for the ones you love and Hallmark has just what you need to show someone you care this Valentine's Day! 

I am proud to announce I am part of the Hallmark Canada blogger panel. Which means I get exclusive access to whats new at Hallmark Canada and share it with all of you! 

Hallmark cards inc is the world's largest manufacturer of greeting cards and other personal expression products and is dedicated to helping people connect in meaningful ways - whether with a card, a special keepsake or a recordable storybook. You can now connect with the important people in your life in ways that are more memorable than ever before. Hallmark wants Canadians to take the time to recognize and celebrate the moments that make our lives special.

I like going into our local Hallmark store at the St. Laurent mall and checking out all the gorgeous things they have available for every occasion. This Valentine's Day, Hallmark has a wonderful assortment of gifts to give those closest to you and show how much you care! 

Send a love message on Valentine's Day morning with the Love Cup with Marker. Love notes take a whole new dimension when displayed on this ceramic cup. Just love, write and pour. Erase and repeat day after day to make sharing your love part of your heart-healthy routine.

Speaking of notes, the heart shaped Marjolein Bastin Die-Cut Heart Memo Pad features the classic artistic style of Dutch artist, Marjolein Bastin. This delicate nature design is sure to enhance even the simplest of notes.  

Disney's Lady and the Tramp is a classic family favourite in our house. To celebrate it's 65th anniversary you can gift the Doggone Sweet Lady and the Tramp plush set - a love for all time! Also available is the Lady and the Tramp hardcover book. Introduce your kids to one of the greatest love stories of all time!

Have a giggle with the Hug-Lovin' Hippo Techno Plush! This hug hungry hippo dances and sings, telling the world how much she loves hugs. Give her a squeeze if you please and listen to her sing a clever parody of hit 90's song "Baby Got Back". So cute and so funny, this makes a great gift for kids and those kids at heart. 

One day an artist named Terry Runyan drew a little doodle. She gazed at the little girl she sketched and began to noodle. Isn't she cute? Who could she be? She's "Penny Paperheart", who gives away her paper hearts. That's what makes Penny so nice. Give the Penny Paperheart - Bakeshop mini playset. This playset includes Penny and her friend Patti, story card, paper outfits and enough material to make over 30 Hearts of Kindness cards and 12 small hearts to share.

Wrap up your gift of love in a ready to go gift bag. These bags make it easy for you to wrap up anything from treats and sweets to apparel. A range of sizes is available and each one comes with tissue, just add your gift. 

Your kids can give Valentine's to their classmates with Kids Valentine's Day cards. From Frozeb and Star Wars to Avengers, Disney Princesses, Mickey Mouse Club and more, Hallmark has all the hottest Valentine's Cards this season. Each pack includes 32 cards, 1 teachers card and stickers. 

However you may celebrate this Valentine's Day and whoever you may want to spoil, Hallmark has what you're looking for. Check out the full collection by visiting www.Hallmark.ca. Show some social media love by following Hallmark Canada on Twitter and Liking the Hallmark Canada Facebook Page!


Hallmark wants to Share The Love with one lucky AME reader! You can enter for a chance to win Avengers and Frozen Valentine cards for kids PLUS a cute Hug-Lovin' Hippo Techno plush, just in time for Valentine's Day!

Enter using the ballot below!

Open to CANADIAN residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). One entry per household using a valid email address. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count.

By entering AME giveaways, you understand your information is not shared unless you are drawn winner in which case is used for prizing purposes only by representatives of Hallmark. Privacy is important on AME. 

Please read our giveaway terms and conditions for full giveaway rules. 

Posted in participation with the Hallmark Canada Blogger Panel. Complimentary products and perks are associated with my affiliation. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author. 

Caring, sharing and friendship - that is what most programming is geared toward teaching our little ones on TreeHouse TV. That's why I don't mind when our youngest tunes in. There is always an uplifting and entertaining program with characters my kids have grown up watching and loving. 

New to Treehouse TV comes Little Charmers - a fantastic new preschool series that celebrates the magic of friendship. I knew right away from the colourful, magical characters that this could be a family favourite from the start. 

Little Charmers takes place in Charmville, and stars Hazel, a fearless and spirited go-getter, who is on her way to becoming a full-fledged Charmer. Hazel can often be seen with her two best friends, Lavender, a sweet and musical "Spellerina" who can come up with spells for any occassion and Posie, a bright and feisty "Potionista" who knows how to stir up potions and put together hip fashions. 

These "Charmers-In-Training" embark on spellbinding adventures that always stir up funny situations, like turning the entire town into mushrooms or accidentally setting loose a herd of unicorns. Together, this inseparable trip use their imaginations and teamwork to fix magical mishaps and, along the way, learn the value of friendship.

We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at Little Charmers first few episodes and a cool craft kit to build their own wands. Although it is geared toward preschoolers all three of our kids aged 2, 6 and 10 enjoyed watching the show. They can't wait to check out the official television premiere!

You can catch episodes of Little Charmers on Treehouse TV, Saturday's at 6:30pm EDT starting January 31st!! 

In the next few weeks you will be able to visit www.LittleCharmers.com to see clips of upcoming episodes as well as access themed printables, downloadables and information about the shows main characters and their pets! The website will also be rolling out brand new games and a Little Charmers app for everyone to enjoy!

Follow along the fun on twitter with @TreehouseTV using hashtag #LittleCharmers

Sponsored by Corus Entertainment on behalf of Treehouse TV. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

Jan 26, 2015

Winter has hit Canada hard as of the beginning January. Snow blankets the yard,  the temperatures have dropped and everyone is bundling up. Thank goodness for warm socks and slippers! I don't know about you but I always feel like a marshmallow woman when I'm all bundled up, although it does keep me warm.

Despite the layers, I do have a couple of favourite "go-to" outfits I wear during the winter months that don't include my pyjama pants or outerwear. Please excuse the poor selfies but you get the idea. 

This shirt is long, flowy and super soft. One of my favourites to pair with jeans or even get away with black dressy pants.

If I am having one of those days where I want to be wrapped up in a warm sweater, this is one of my favourites. It's long so it can be worn with stretchy pants, dressy pants or jeans. It can be worn casually loose or wrapped around for a more dressy look. 

This is your typical everyday grey sweater. I tend to grab it when I'm at home and feeling a bit chilly. It's soft and warm paired with my favourite grey jeans. 

No matter what the outfit, I want my them to look good. I also want them to be soft and nice smelling. That's why I wash my clothes using Downy, there are so many different (and amazing) products available to make you want to #RipYourClothesOn!

This winter, Downy is challenging Canadians to share their favourite fashion looks that make you want to rip your clothes on. I always like using Downy fabric softener but I also like to mix things up and add some wow to my clothes with Downy Unstopables and Downy Infusions in the  mix.

You can find Downy products available at Real Canadian Superstores and Loblaw banner stores across Canada! While you're there, why not stop in at Joe Fresh and get yourself something new that will make you want to #RipYourClothesON

Learn more about Downy by visiting the official website


Do you have a favourite winter outfit that makes you want to #RipYourClothesOn@Downy wants to know! 

Enter to win a Downy #RipYourClothesON prize ($45 value) that includes Downy Unstopables and Downy Infusions, PLUS a special surprise to help you get some fashion inspiration!

Canadians 18+ (excluding Quebec) can enter using the entry ballot below! One random winner will be drawn on February 10th 2015 via provided email. Mandatory entry required to participate in bonus entries. 

By entering AME giveaways you understand your information is never shared unless your name is drawn winner in which case your information is shared with representatives of P&G for prizing purposes only. For general info about giveaways please check out the AME terms and conditions.

Good Luck!

Posted in participation as a P&GMom. Perks and incentives are received as part of my affiliation. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author. 

Jan 23, 2015

We all have them somewhere in our homes. Old family photos we once had the idea to organize in neat and tidy photo albums but unfortunately over time may have been forgotten about with the new digital age of family photo taking. 

I know we have a collection of photos or should I say collections. Different photos from different eras of our lives, stored away. Honestly, I don't have time to go through the process of scanning each photo we have and saving them to digital disk or drives. It's a lot of work when you have a million other things already to do. 

I was happy when I was contacted to try out BLACKS Shoebox Direct service. What this is, is a service where  you take all your "shoebox stored" photos and have Blacks take care of digitalizing them for you. 

You can gather all of your old photos and bring them into a BLACKS store, choose which package is good for you and let them do the rest OR you can order a BLACKS Shoebox Direct kit online and send in your photos yourself. It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the complete process, depending what you are having digitalized.

The cardboard box to send pictures in is included.
We were sent a nice Platinum Shoebox Direct kit which allowed us to send in up to 300 of our favourite prints to BLACKS and have them take care of the rest. The kit included several different sized envelopes and labels to organize in as well as full instructions. If you want your pictures in a certain order they recommend you number each one and such because with the kit that is returned you get a proof book of what is scanned. We didn't have any particular way we wanted this done and just put the pictures in the envelopes in the order we thought would work best.

Sending your Shoe Box kit away is as simple as calling the number on the provided form and arranging pick up! When everything is all ready, you will be sent back a box containing your original photos, a USB with the digital (colour enhanced if you choose) copies, a proof book and a photo book (if you order the Platinum package!). 

I am looking forward to see what BLACKS is going to do with our old photos and it will be nice to be able to share old memories with everyone instead of hiding them in a box for "one day". 

You can learn more about this and other great photo services by visiting one of the new BLACKS Playground for Photography stores or online at www.BLACKS.ca!


BLACKS wants to help you organize your photos! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a BLACKS SHOEBOX DIRECT GOLD service to help digitize your photos! You can enter using the ballot below!

With the GOLD service you get:

  • Up to 300 prints (2.5"x3.5" to 8"x10"), or 300 negatives (35mm only, must be in strips of 3 minimum), or 300 slides (35mm only, must be mounted)
  • USB flash drive of all your scanned photos
  • Your original prints, slides, or negatives
  • Images are scanned in the order you package them
  • Colour correction and enhancement on every image (optional)
  • 12”x12” softcover proof book of your images

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Entrants must complete the mandatory. Winners are notified via valid email address and have 48 hours to complete a winners form + skill testing question to qualify. Prize sponsored by BLACKS. 

By entering AME giveaways you understand your information is kept private unless you win in which case your information will be shared with representatives of BLACKS for prizing purposes only. Please see AME's terms and conditions for more.

Posted on behalf of BLACKS. Complimentary service provided for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

Jan 22, 2015

It may only be January but many people are already thinking about this year's upcoming tax season. Recently, the government rolled out some new points and H&R Block would like to tell you about them:

New tax credits for families could mean more money in your pockets

There are so many wonderful experiences that come with having children but there are also expenses. From childcare to extra-curricular activities to shoes that they quickly outgrow, the costs can quickly add up. Fortunately, our little ones also provide opportunities for many tax benefits and credits and this year, there are new tax credits that could result in greater tax savings for families.
Caroline Battista from H&R Block Canada walks us through the new tax credits:

  • Children’s Fitness Tax Credit Doubled: If your children are registered in activities such as swimming or martial arts, hang onto your receipts. The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit has doubled allowing you to claim up to $1,000 in expenses. You claim the receipts in the year you paid – not the year the activity takes place. The tax credit applies to children under 16 at the beginning of the year, or under 18 if they're eligible for the disability amount.
  • New Family Tax Cut: The Family Tax Cut is a limited form of income splitting that allows families with children under 18 to save when one spouse earns considerably more than the other. Eligible families can claim a non-refundable tax credit equal to the amount of tax savings that would be realized by transferring up to $50,000 worth of income from the higher-earning to the lower-earning spouse or common-law partner. Here’s how it would work assuming you are a double income family with two children: If you earned $60,000 per year and your spouse earned $12,000 per year, you would get a family tax cut of $1,260 based on what your taxes would have been if you each had income of $36,000. Families with only one spouse earning income will benefit the most from this credit. The maximum credit that you can claim is $2,000.

  • Increased Universal Child Care Benefit: There are some welcome changes to the UCCB. First, for parents with children under six, the monthly amount will increase to $160 (up from $100). Secondly, parents with children between six and 18 will now receive $60 a month – up to $720 for the year. The increase for January to June will be paid in a lump sum in July 2015 and the adjusted payments will arrive monthly after that. If you have not been applying for the CTTB, you must reapply for the UCCB using form RC66.

If you’re unsure of your eligibility for these new credits or need more information, an H&R Block tax professional can walk you through what’s new for your tax return this year. For more information please visit www.hrblock.ca.


Be ready for this tax season with H&R Block! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a tax voucher (good for use at any H&R Block location). Use the giveaway ballot below to enter for your chance to win! 

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Entrants must complete the mandatory. Winners are notified via valid email address and have 48 hours to complete a winners form + skill testing question to qualify. Prize sponsored by H&R Block. 

By entering AME giveaways you understand your information is kept private unless you win in which case your information will be shared with representatives of H&R Block for prizing purposes only. Please see AME's terms and conditions for more. 

Good Luck!

Sponsored post on behalf of H&R Block. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

Jan 19, 2015

Winter time can leave me feeling dull some days. Maybe it is the lack of sunshine, maybe it is the cold. Either way, when I am not feeling exactly like myself, I like to get out of my funk and back to normal by doing something nice for myself. 

I would love to indulge and spend an afternoon at a salon having my hair dyed and styled to its prettiest but in reality, I prefer to save some money and turn to at-home hair colour kits. I've been doing them on and off for years, with practice it doesn't take much time at all. Plus, doing it at home means I don't need a babysitter.

The results of some at-home dye kits haven't always been what I've wanted each time. I've made my fair share of mistakes, choosing the wrong colour or brand (I once accidentally turned my hair pumpkin orange) but with my recent adventures in hair dye, I can't complain! 

I decided before the holidays that I needed to change my look. I went from blond to a darker colour with Vidal Sassoon Pro Series in medium chocolate brown.

My biggest issue with most hair dyes I have tried is the colour not lasting. After a few washes it turns brassy and dull. The Vidal Sassoon Pro Series at home dye gave me excellent all-over colour that after a few weeks worth of washes (pictured below), has not faded or dulled to that yucky brassy colour. 

Before Vidal Sasson (left) After Vidal Sassoon (right)
I will definitely be sticking to Vidal Sassoon for my next at-home hair pampering. I can't wait to try out the new Vidal Sassoon Salonist colour.

Vidal Sassoon Salonist brings you the brilliance of salon colour by treating roots and tips separately with the simplicity of a two-step at-home dye kit. Unlike your usual at-home kit, Salonist is designed for the perfect consistency to use a bowl and brush - just like at the salon. It allows us to channel our inner hairdresser and get precise application at the roots at the right balance of depth and tone. 

Vidal Sassoon Salonist is available in 24 different shades and can be found at mass retailers everywhere. As tempting as it would be to change up my colour again, it's too soon but I am going to need to touch it up in a few more weeks so make sure to look for an update to come!

Visit the Vidal Sassoon website to learn more about this and other great products! Show some love by following Vidal Sassoon on twitter

Have you tried new Vidal Sassoon Salonist? What is your go-to hair colour when it comes to at-home kits? Share your thoughts! 

Posted in participation as a #PGMom. Perks and incentives are received as part of my affiliation however opinions and comments on this blog are always my own. 

Jan 18, 2015

Throughout life, we all go through different ages and stages that have us thinking. One thought in particular that is on anyone's mind is safety. I'm not just talking about making sure your little ones wear a helmet at the park or look both ways before crossing the street. We are always thinking of new and better ways to keep our families, our homes and our belongings safer.

Master Lock has been there to help keep things safe from offering locks for the home, garage, outdoors, travel and personal storage. We like the quality of Master Lock and knowing that locks and other security devices they offer are guaranteed to last.

Master Lock Portable Key Safe can provide you peace of mind in any situation by allowing you to safely store extra house keys, car keys etc inside and the only people who can get them are those with the combination. If someone forgets their keys and locks themselves out or someone needs to get in your house in an emergency, you can trust Master Lock. 

Master Lock SafeSpace sets your worries at ease while out and about. It's a personal safe big enough to fit important items like your smartphone (although it does not fit phones as big as the iphone 6 or 6 Plus), watch, camera, keys and other items but is small enough to store in a drawer or locker. This is great if you're going places like at the office or where you have to use a rented locker or even when you're staying at a hotel. The lock works like a standard set-your-own combination lock, you need the combo to get the contents and you know you can rely on the quality and durability of Master Lock.

TSA Accepted Luggage Lock can help you relax when you travel. This is a lock that you can set your own combination for. It allows TSA screeners to inspect luggage and relock without damaging you lock or luggage.

To help keep people safe through whatever and wherever life brings them, Master Lock is kicking off a special initiative that you can participate in! 

From January 19th through January 31st tweet @MasterLockUS answering the question "When in your life has safety been most top of mind" with hashtag #MasterLockProtects and Master Lock will donate $1 to American Red Cross and you have an entry for sweepstakes prizes!

From your home and beyond, #MasterLockProtects!

For more information on Master Lock products and mentioned contest please visit the official website! You can also catch the latest updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages! 

Posted by AME on behalf of Master Lock. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author

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