Sep 19, 2014

  


September is National Preparedness Month dedicated to raising awareness to help families prepare themselves for unexpected emergencies such as bad weather or fire. Unfortunately many North Americans are targets of thousands of disasters every year. As a matter of fact, a week ago we had a big storm that blew down a tree in a neighbours yard. The tree knocked the hydro, cable and phone lines out for eight hours. We are lucky it was only eight hours without. The electricity came back on just in time for that evenings bath time.  

You never know when bad weather or a disaster could happen so why not make sure you are prepared! Master Lock has some great tips to help you prepare to keep your family and important belongings safe and secure.

- Know weather language. Here in Canada we rely on Environment Canada for severe weather warnings. It's easy to keep up with the weather in your area by watchig the weather channel on TV or downloading an app onto practically any device. Social media is also a good place to get up to date news on weather all across the country. Learn the language of your national weather advisory organization so that you can prepare your family for severe weather.

- Prepare in advance. Severe weather can strike at any time, so take the basic steps now to ensure your family is ready should a storm strike while you're at home or away. 

Keep an updated emergency kit at home at all times. This kit should include necessities like enough water for at least 72 hours for your family, non-perishable foods, pet food (should you have a pet), flashlights, batteries, candles and matches. Date your emergency kit and store items in a cool, dry place and replace them every six months or so. 
If you are away when severe weather hits, make sure that a trusted relative or neighbour has appropriate access to your property if needed. A resettable combination padlock like the Master Lock M175XDLF Combination Padlock, is a convienient option to help secure your gate or fence since it doesn't require a key. You can reset the combination as many times as you need, for extra security when you return home.

- Create a backup plan. Over the years raising a family, we have collected a good amount of important and personal documents that I know we would be devistated if we ever lost. Our file box is one thing I would definitely want to save in the case of an emergency. SentrySafe fire safes offer protectio against fire and flood, making sure your important documents and items are safe long after the storm blows over. To help with disaster recovery in real time, store digital copies of important documents (including insurance policies!) in a secure online storage hub like the Master Lock Vault. It's free to use and accessable 24/7 through smartphones, tablets or on computer allowing easy access anytime.

- Secure outdoor belongings. Storms can be very damaging to the outside of your home, due to heavy rain, wind, or damaging hail or lightening. Lock up all possible outdoor belongings in a garage or covered shed and secure the door with a padlock built to survive tough weather like the Master Lock M115xDLF Covered Laminated Padlock. For items that can't be easily removed and stored such as patio furniture (we almost lost a table due to a rain and wind storm once!), lock them tightly together and to another sturdy surface. Use a securing cable like the Master Lock Python Adjustable Locking Cable. These safety tactics can also help prevent theft also.

- Go Cordless. In a severe weather situation, even bad thunder showers, it's always a good idea to keep away from electrical sources like computers, microwaves, corded phones and other electronics which require being plugged directly to a current. Power surges can occur, damaging your electronics. If you still have power during a bad storm, try using a cordless or cell phone instead of a corded phone as the cord can conduct electricity. 

I certainly hope that our Canadian weather is nice to us for the fall season. Either way, we will be one more step to being prepared with Master Lock!




For more information about the mentioned products please visit www.MasterLock.com!

Win it!

Master Lock wants to help you prepare your family and home for life's unexpected weather by offering up one AME reader the chance to win a Master Lock Prize Pack which includes:

- Master Lock Combination Padlock
- Master Lock Covered Laminated Padlock
- Master Lock Python Adjustable Locking Cable

Enter by filling out the entry ballot below! Open to Canada (excluding Quebec) and US residents 18+. Mandatory entry must be complete for extras to count. One entry per household. Please provide a valid email address upon entering.  

By entering this giveaway you understand should you win your information will be shared with those representing Master Lock for prizing purposes only. Privacy is important on AME!

Good Luck!


Posted on behalf of Master Lock. Complimentary products and information provided for review. Giveaway prize sponsored by Master Lock. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

Sep 18, 2014


I am not the most active person. I mean I do go for walks and all but I don't usually purposely do anything to be active like jog or go to the gym. I haven't kept a regular exercise routine since a time before I had a family, before I had kids. When I pushed myself to be physically active and kept in shape. 

I was more active. I would bike a lot, I did sit ups and push ups etc lots of toning type exercises. Of course I was younger and had much more time and energy to put into it all but that shouldn't really be an excuse for not taking care of myself. Now that the kids are a little more independent and the baby technically isn't a "baby" anymore, I purposely carved out that time for me.

I have let life get in the way of really taking care of myself and I'm feeling it. I feel stiff and sore too often than I like to admit. That's not how I want to be at the age of only 33. I'm slim but I've lost my shape, I want my shape back. I have to be careful though. I do have hip displasia and osteoarthritis (which is one major reason I want to get my legs back into shape) and I can only endure so much physical activity in a day but even a little exercise can go a long way if I keep it up. My "invisible disability" has always been the show stopper for me. I have to stop letting it be so. This body isn't getting any younger. 

I don't want to overdo it and end up regretting it so I decided to start doing a beginners exercise routine in the early mornings. Keep things light and simple, we will see where it goes from there. Ive been seeing so many of my friends getting into shape and I know if they can do it, I can do it! Thanks for the motivation! 

There are so many different options when you're looking for these "30 day challenges". Some seem great while others seem a little much for what I was looking for. I'm not interested in following videos, I like going into my own world when I exercise.

I did find a website that gives basic 30 day challenges depending on your needs and also short tutorials if you aren't sure how to exactly do the exercise for the challenge. It helps knowing how you should be positioned to get the best results from all the hard work and avoid possibly hurting oneself. There aren't that many on the website but they had what I needed, for now. 

I began at the beginning of September, so far it's been pretty good. I've been doing it every day (minus the rest days) and I'm proud of myself! It's the little accomplishments that have the big results, right! Minus being sick with a cold, after a workout I find myself more energetic and "what's next?", ready to go! 

It takes me about 20-30 minutes (depending if there are any interruptions from the family) and I enjoy doing my exercises to music. I pick a few upbeat, motivational songs and away I go! My favourite time is in the morning after the kids are on the bus and before I really get myself ready for the day but on weekends or like this week when we were sick for a couple of days I was able to get 20 minutes in the evening after the kids settled down. 

It's tough although my mind keeps telling me "piece of cake!". It's discipline which is something I lack when it comes to taking care of myself sometimes but I think I can do it. After the 30 days I want it become a habit. I have the motivation and the means, now to make it all the way! I printed out the one I chose and taped it to the wall beside my computer since I am there every day, it's a good reminder! 

Just for the record this has absolutely NOTHING to do with losing weight, that's not an issue. I want the good food I'm eating to go to good places! :-P I want to keep fit like I said. Those of us my age know that things only go down from here, we have to work to keep them up. Better to start now than never! ;)

Wish me luck! :)


Personal post by AME. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. Image courtesy of MorgueFile Free Photos. 

Sep 17, 2014

Children have been a blessing to our family, I am grateful for all we have. We are lucky to have had the chance to have happy, fairly easy going pregnancies. We are lucky we did not have to go through the frustration and heartbreak of infertility that so many Canadians go through every year trying to do something that should be so simple, grow their family.

One in six Canadians struggles with infertility and the worst part is that they feel very alone seeing their family and friends have such ease conceiving. Only about 15% can afford IVF fertility treatment and even then, it's not always a guarantee. To watch someone you care about struggle for something that should be natural but isn't possible is heartbreaking. 



I am excited to tell you the news about a new and innovative fertility product launching in Canada! The Stork by Rinovum Women's Health is an over-the-counter, at home aid that supports a natural and intimate approach to conception. 

Combining science and innovation, The Stork takes the well established cervical cap insemination technology that medical professionals have been using for decades and allows couples to perform it easily in the privacy of their own homes.

The Stork is an affordable option for couples trying to conceive that bridges the gap between costly clinical treatments and natural intercourse. 

This is news so many Canadians trying to conceive have been waiting for. If you or someone you know could benefit from The Stork, check out their website for more information or talk to your health care provider, it could be the option that works for you and your partner. The Stork is available in select pharmacies.

Show some love and follow The Stork on social media! Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, follow on Pinterest and check out videos on YouTube



Sponsored post on behalf of Rinovum Women's Health. 




Sep 16, 2014

Autumn is in the air, our temperature went from a late summer heat wave to a chillier fall weather. We've already turned back on the heat and broken out the sweaters and warm woolly socks! I think we can safely say summer is officially over!

Part of staying healthy aside from good diet, sleep and exercise is providing your body with the proper vitamins and nutrients it needs to excel and boost your immune system to fight off any potential illnesses like colds and flu's. I've been working on all of the above for myself and my entire family.

The kids are back in school and although we can't always monitor what they eat (or don't eat) during the hours they are away, we can start off their day with a balanced breakfast including Orange Naturals ND shakes for kids and send them off for the day with a healthy lunch. 

Orange Naturals offers a variety of tinctures to help the whole family, as I've mentioned before. One of my favourite go-to remedies for myself is Oil of Oregano. It may not taste very good on its own but it has so many benefits like acting as an antioxidant to help rid off the beginning of cold and flu symptoms. You can also use it topically for skin problems or if you have a sore tooth and can't get to the dentist right away, it can help prevent and cure infection.



With the cooler temperatures I'm feeling it in my bones with my arthritis. To help keep from ceasing up I have to keep active but some days are harder than others. I did some research and found Devil's Claw tincture is known to aid arthritic pain and flair ups. I have tried it several times and I can assure you, it works. It helps me get on with my day with less pain and tightness. I was happy to see Orange Naturals carries Devil's Claw which is now part of my Orange Naturals homeopathic remedies collection.




For the kids I am happy to have Orange Naturals cough + cold for kids on hand, it works like a charm without any side effects like drowsiness or things other over the counter cough medicines are known for.




With Orange Naturals products I have peace of mind knowing that if I have any questions, my answer is just a click away on the Orange Naturals website. Or I can simply head over to the #ONatural blog and read up on the latest articles about keeping my family healthy during the fall cold and flu season.

Have you signed up for the Orange Naturals newsletter? It's free and gives you the latest news and updates right in your inbox! 

Orange Naturals is great for my family but make sure you always do your research and talk to a health care professional before replacing any prescribed medications with homeopathic remedies. 



Posted in participation with Orange Naturals #ONatural ambassadorship. Compensation and product are provided. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

Sep 15, 2014


We are already a few weeks into the new school year and things have been going fairly well. The kids like their classes this year, happy to be back with friends. The kids started off the school year with what they required for the first couple of days but you know as well as I do, there are always last minute school supplies that are requested by the teachers.

We found what we needed at our local Staples Canada. Our oldest needed a couple of things as well as I needed a couple of things for the home office. One stop shop for all the supplies for kids and grown ups. 


Our local Staples store is fairly new and it's a fairly small store. We took an afternoon to go check it out and pick up what we needed. Our two school bound kids needed a few finishing items to their lists like a few folders, more lined paper for all those grade 5 assignments and things like that.



The staff at Staples is always friendly when you walk in, they greeted us with a hello and asked us if we needed any help. Everything is bright and well marked so its easy to find what you are looking for. We browsed around looking at all the different departments - electronics, supplies, office chairs, printers, computers etc. Lots of school supplies still on sale which is really helpful for the budget. 

If you're looking for an e-reader for your newest reader in the family, Staples offers a variety of models online and in store. The Kindle Fire HD has been a popular one. It's an e-reader that does more than just books. You can download tons of reading material from the amazon store and also apps for everything from learning to entertainment. Our store was sold out but you can always check out your own local store. 


I needed to check out the external hard drives and was happy to see quite the selection. With the kids needing the computer more and more as they get older, a reliable back up source is a must have! I also have a tendency to switch computers often, having all of my important stuff on an external drive will save me time and allow me more freedom to bring my files where ever I go. 

They did not have the Western Digital model I had been looking at online at this store but they did have a Sea Gate 1TB for less! It's a smart hard drive that allows you not only to back up files from your computer but also from your mobile device and social media like pictures from Facebook or Drop Box. It comes with software so no guess work at all, simple to use and portable. I was happy to find it at Staples for such a good price.


Visit Staples Canada Online or in store to check out all the great deals for yourself! You can even sign up for the free weekly sales flyer so you are always in the know! 

Don't forget to show some love @StaplesCanada on twitter and like the Staples Canada Facebook page for the latest! 

Posted on behalf of Staples Canada. Gift cards were received for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and those of the author. 

Sep 10, 2014

I've always believed part of feeling your best includes looking your best. Being a busy mom of three having an easy go-to morning routine can help cut back on spending hours in the bathroom during the busy, bustling mornings. No worries ladies - Olay, CoverGirl and Secret have us covered!

Putting our best face forward and reveal your natural beauty by starting off your day a moisturizer that illuminates your natural beauty like Olay Total Effects Pore Minimizing CC Cream for a flawless, airbrush looking finish. If you're looking for more of a lifting effect you could try CoverGirl + Olay Facelift Effect firming makeup which works to improve your skins natural firmness within two weeks! 

With early mornings and late nights, puffy-morning eyes and dark under eye circles can be a concern. CoverGirl + Olay The Depuffer eye concealer works to give you a well rested look, even if you really aren't.

This time of year is important for moms to be on top of things but those of us with teens or tweens can also take our own routines as opportunities to bond with them, teach them some tips and give them the confidence they need to face the day. 

Help her start off her day with a clean face using Olay Fresh Effects {Acne Control Scrub!} Salicylic Acid Acne and Blackhead Clearing Scrub, designed to give her day-long freshness. Moisturize and energize with Fresh Effects {Dew Over!} Hydrating Gel Moisturizer. For older teens, cover dark circles from late night study sessions and minimize the appearance of imperfections like blotchy skin with COVERGIRL Ready, Set Gorgeous Concealer. Lastly, COVERGIRL Ready, Set Gorgeous Liquid Foundation will even her skin tone while pulling oil and sweat away from the skin, finishing off her look.

Early morning hustle and bustle can make us sweat! Don't worry though, Secret has added two new additions to the Secret Clinical Strength collection (which happens to be my favourite!), Invisible Solid and Clear Gel to keep us all cool and collected during the busiest of times!




For more information about mentioned products or other great beauty tips and tricks please visit Olay.ca, CoverGirl.ca and Secret.com


WIN IT!

P&G wants you to get back on schedule too with this great "Get Back To Your Routine" prize pack ($122 value) which includes:

- Olay Total Effects Pore Minimizing CC Cream Olay Fresh Effects – $32.99*
- COVERGIRL + Olay FaceLift Effect Firming Makeup – $18.99*
- COVERGIRL + Olay De-Puffer Eye Concealer – $14.99*
- Olay Fresh Effects {Acne Control Scrub!} Salicylic Acid Acne and Blackhead      Clearing Scrub – $9.99*
- Fresh Effects {Dew Over!} Hydrating Gel Moisturizer – $15.99*
- COVERGIRL Ready, Set Gorgeous Concealer – $8.99*
- COVERGIRL Ready, Set Gorgeous Liquid Foundation – $9.99*
- Secret Clinical Clear Gel – $9.99*
- Secret Clinical Invisible Solid – $9.99*

Please fill out the entry ballot below for your chance to win! :) 

Open to Canadians 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Please note that this giveaway is offered across multiple P&GMom blogs. You may enter on as many blogs as you wish however you may only win this prize once. 

GOOD LUCK


Posted in participation with the P&Gmom program. Perks and incentives are received as part of this program but opinions and comments are always honest and my own. 

*Product prices at the discretion of retailer*

Sep 4, 2014

There is no contest that tortilla chips and dip go hand in hand when it comes to munching on snacks. Chips and dip are perfect for parties, social gatherings or even that family movie night. Different flavours, different ways to dip - whats not to love. 

NEW Pringles Tortillas are changing snacking rules everywhere by sparking some serious debate among Canadians - a DIPbate if you will. Pringles Tortillas are so packed with flavour - some Canadians think dip is just not necessary while others won't let go of their favourite snacking tradition. 

We were sent over some samples of the new Pringles Tortillas. They come in three flavours - Nacho Cheese, Zesty Ranch and Original. These chips are similar to what Pringles always has to offer in its chip products but instead of normal potato chips they are flavoured tortilla chips. The same kind you get when you make a plate of tortilla chips and dip - minus the dip. 



Hubby and the kids enjoyed the Zesty Ranch as their favourite out of the three while and I enjoyed the Nacho Cheese and Original as my favourite flavours. In all, new Pringles Tortilla Chips are really good! 

In my opinion, dip is optional. I could eat these with dip or without so I guess you can say I am kind of on the fence in this whole #PringlesDIPbate!

Have you tried new Pringles Tortilla Chips? What say you about this whole thing, would they go great with your favourite dip or could they do without? 

From September 1st to 14th, TV host Matt Philips (@mattphilipstv) and his friends are taking it to the streets of Toronto to find out who dips and who doesn't in this great DIPbate! They'll be visiting hot spots, public spaces and happenings from Steeles Avenue to Lake Ontario to give people the chance to weigh in! If you see Matt, don't be shy! Say hello and let him know where you stand in the #PringlesDIPbate

Follow along hashtags #PringlesDIPbate #PringlesDip and #PringlesDontDip for all the DIPbate fun!

For more information about Pringles please visit www.Kelloggs.ca


WIN IT!

In celebration of the new Pringles Tortilla Chips and the whole #PringlesDIPbate, Pringles wants to give one lucky AME winner the chance to try these new chips for themselves! 


Enter using the entry ballot below for your chance to win all three new Pringles Tortilla Chips flavours and a vintage Pringles collector T-shirt! 

Open to Canadian residents 18+ only with a valid email address upon entering. Mandatory entry must be complete for extras to count. One entry per household/email address.

Good Luck


Posted on behalf of Kellogg's Canada. Samples provided for participation. Prize sponsored by Kellogg's. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

Sep 2, 2014

Back to School season is nothing new to our family but it doesn't make it any less exciting (and nerve racking). I surprisingly didn't have that hard a time sleeping as I thought and I was able to get up easier than I anticipated. Maybe my internal clock knows its time to go back to routine. Either way we were up and at em before 6:30 which I can say is a time record for these kids considering the relaxed summer they just had. 

They started the day with a good breakfast, picked out and got dressed in their favourite new school clothes. It was turning out to be a good day! 

The kids were as prepared as they could be with their new school supplies tucked neatly into their bags. I prepared their lunches the night before, a ritual I started ever since our oldest began school. It just makes things run smoother when all they have to do is open the fridge and put their lunches in their bags before taking off for the day. 


The weather was good, warm with no rain but it was cloudy. The kids were as rested as expected, tired but enthusiastic about returning to school. We left five minutes early to avoid rushing for the bus. Nothing was forgotten at home before getting on the bus and there were absolutely no tears! I call this a first day back morning success!

Returning home was another story, the kids have a brand new bus driver this year who is still learning the route. They were over 15 minutes late dropping off but being it the first day and the weather was nice it wasn't that big a deal. It did make me double check the bus route and stops though. You know, just to make sure.

When they finally got off the bus and came through the front door they were talking each a mile a minute. Hard to catch everybodys story at once but overall they both had a pretty good first day at school, they both liked their lunches and they both like their new teachers so far. 

Despite the after school bus scare we all survived the first day back. Now, on with the rest of the school year! :) 


Original post by AME. Content, images and opinions are those of the author. 

Sep 1, 2014

Sometimes it's nice to play tourist in your own city. Exploring places you know but may not visit all that often. Checking out the sights and really noticing what makes your city great.

Downtown Ottawa is filled with interesting things one can enjoy while out for an afternoon, we did just that. Making the best of our last long weekend before school kicks in. We packed up the stroller for the afternoon and took the three kids on a bus ride downtown. We didn't need to do very much, we didn't need to spend very much and we didn't have any kind of a plan but we did have fun. We made our own fun by enjoying the sights of our own city. The kids were excited and imagine, that's just downtown. 


I'm happy it turned out to be a beautiful day too. Not too hot but nice and sunny!  We stopped by the Rideau Center for a snack (unfortunately the icing on the kids donuts melted but they ate them anyway as kids do) and we walked along the King Edward bridge, looking beautiful view of the Rideau Canal we even saw some ducks. 


We also took a walk by City Hall. Downtown parks are always pretty in the summer and have interesting statues, water fountain and other historical monuments. We did not get a picture of the piano man that's beside the NAC unfortunately. Real tourists already had him occupied. We also took the kids to the Byward market to look around before heading on our way home.


It was nice to just get out of the house with no real goal other than making the kids smile. We are usually busy on a mission when we do get a chance to go downtown, it was nice to slow it down a pace and enjoy the sights with the family. We often miss the simplicity of the smaller things with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.



Original post by AME. Images, comments and opinions are my own. 

Aug 26, 2014


Saturday night, we took our two older kids out to a show they would never forget - Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular at the Canadian Tire Centre here in Ottawa!

The kids waited for weeks with excitement for the day to finally arrive. Grandma came to babysit our youngest, (the show is recommended for ages 5+ due to some scary scenes) and we went on our way to enjoy a prehistoric evening!

Walking with Dinosaurs is a unique show, I have never seen one like it. It's not only entertaining but it's also educational and informative. The show follows a paleontologist on a journey through time discovering various prehistoric times like the Jurassic and late Jurassic periods, different species of dinosaurs like the stegosaurus, triceratops, brachiosaurus and more. We learned more about how they lived, fought for survival and what their environments could have been like. The biggest part of the show for everyone I believe is when T-Rex made an appearance with comedic antics from Baby T-Rex. 


My kids were engaged the whole time through moments of wonder and surprise. They listened and payed attention not only to the magnificently huge dinosaurs that roamed the beautiful stage but also the words spoken and the story being told. It's definitely an event they won't soon forget! 

Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular is a fantastic, one of a kind show you definitely should check out when it comes to a city near you! For information about show times and tickets please visit the official website!


Posted on behalf of Evenko.ca. Complimentary tickets to this show were provided for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.