August 29, 2015

With Summer coming to an end, we all want to squeeze in that last bit of summer fun and savour every moment we have left before we all pull up our socks and get back into routine when the kids go back to school and the rest of us start to really get some work done. 

One way to ring out summer is getting together with family and friends to enjoy some good company and good food. Our favourite go-to food for when we have a large group of people or on those days we just don't want to spend time in the kitchen cooking (besides bbq!), is pizza. It's simple and there aren't too many people who don't like a good slice. 



Speaking of a good slice, have you tried the Bacon Wrapped Deep Deep Dish pizza from Little Caesars? This pizza is a large 8-corner thick Deep Deep Dish pepperoni and bacon pizza with a crispy crust wrapped in 3 1/2 feet of bacon! I never said this was a low-cal pizza, I'm drooling just typing it.



I think most Canadians can agree, we love our summer days almost as much as we love our bacon and that's why Little Caesars has extended this exclusive pizza to be available for your enjoyment until September 8th! Head on in to your local Little Caesars and #SavourTheSizzle before summer is over! 


Win it!


We want you to #SavourTheSizzle with Little Caesars pizza! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a Little Caesars GC and some fun Little Caesars swag! ($40 value)


Open to Canadian residents 18+ excluding Quebec. Mandatory entry must be done to qualify. Prize on behalf of Little Caesars. By entering this giveaway, you understand your information will not be shared unless you are chosen winner for prizing purposes only. Giveaway ends September 5th! 

Please click here for AME giveaway and disclosure policy! Thanks and good luck! 


Entry-Form


Posted on behalf of Little Caesars. Complimentary product received as a thank you. Opinions and comments are those of the author. 

August 28, 2015

Posted on behalf of the #LoveHallmarkCA blogger panel. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


Sometimes life gets busy and even those closest to our hearts can become just a thought on our minds. There will be times I'll will think of a loved one or a friend, wonder how they are or just want to say "hey!". These days it's easier to keep contact with the Internet and text messages, Skype calls and Facebook chats. 

When I was growing up, we learned about pen pals, how to write and send letters to those in our lives we can't see everyday. Birthday cards, holiday greetings and annual family updates were lovingly hand written and mailed out by post. It was always thrilling to get something in the mail addressed to you, handwritten by someone you care about.

I don't know about you but I like getting mail! No, I don't like bills or useless flyers but I do like getting letters, cards and other thoughtful surprises from family and friends. Just the fact that someone took a moment to think of me warms my soul. 

I enjoy receiving and I also enjoy sending so I am excited to participate in the 7 cards challenge with Hallmark Canada! 

Hallmark Canada sent me a lovely assortment of greeting cards and challenged me to choose 7 of my dearest friends and loved ones and send them each a greeting card. I added a little message in each one of course. One recipient even gets a real-live handwritten "typo"! She will know when she sees it, I apologize in advance!




I use technology so much that my handwriting can sometimes resemble that of a child. Even then my kids writing is neater than mine on most days! Something I should practice more and get back into, handwriting cards and letters vs emails and texts. I enjoyed writing out and sending each of these cards, I know my recipients will love them!

You can find gallery cards for $3.99 each, shoebox cards ranging from $2.99-$3.49 each and signature collection cards available from $4.99-$7.99 each at your local Hallmark store or online at Hallmark.ca! Choose 7 cards for 7 of your loved ones and have your own 7 cards challenge! 

#LoveHallmarkCA

Win it! 

Hallmark Canada wants you to participate in the 7 Cards challenge too! One lucky #AMEBlog reader has the chance to win an assortment of beautiful Hallmark cards plus postage to complete your challenge! 

Open to Canadian residents 18+ excluding Quebec. Mandatory entry must be done to qualify. Prize on behalf of Hallmark Canada. By entering this giveaway, you understand your information will not be shared unless you are chosen winner for prizing purposes only. Giveaway ends September 10th

Please click here for AME giveaway and disclosure policy! Thanks and good luck! 


August 26, 2015

I am saying "Good-bye" to my old mop and bucket method; Cleaning just took on a whole new meaning in my house! I am excited to share the news: my house is cleaner thanks to my new Hoover Steamer! Who gets excited about cleaning their house, you ask? A mother of three with dogs living under the same roof does, that's who! 

I had an idea of how steam cleaners work, I have used similar ones in the past. The basic idea is that they blast away germs and bacteria with hot steam, leaving everything clean and fresh. What I didn't know is how incredibly wonderful the result would be after using the Hoover Floormate SteamScrub 2-in-1! 

Typically my routine involved sweeping and washing my floors with the old "mop and bucket" method, vacuuming the carpet and when it comes to things like curtains - I take them down and throw them into the washing machine. All of the above - no more. No more sweating and scrubbing for what I think is a 'deep clean' only to realize within a couple of hours that all that work and I just skimmed the surface. 

Let me tell you about the Hoover Floormate SteamScrub 2-in-1. It's not your average steam machine, it's so much more! It sanitizes, kills and removes 99.9% of household germs in sealed hard floor surfaces. It removes tough stains with SteamStream Technology. The Floormate SteamScrub can be used as a floor steamer. It comes equipped with two floor pads for steaming and the carpet glider. 


Steam cleaning anywhere in the house got easier with the lift away steamer that attaches to 12 different interchangeable tools for just about any job. Steaming your windows clean, refreshing your office carpet, getting the dirt out of your living room curtains and cutting through heavy stains with the tile and grout scrub brush. It also comes with a storage bag for the steam tool kit. 

It's easy to set up and get started, the instruction manual is step-by-step and easy to follow. The Hoover Floormate SteamScrub 2-in-1 comes with everything you need to get started including the Hoover Steam Multi-floor cleaner! You can find it online!

Our floors take a beating every day and we know we aren't always getting the clean we want. I don't like to think about it but there is a lot of dirt, germs and bacteria that gets dragged through our family home every day. After using the Hoover Floormate SteamScrub 2-in-1 our floors looked and felt much cleaner than they had in a long time. I also tried it on our office area carpet and steaming it took out the musky smell that had been lurking around and left the carpet feeling fresh. 

I am very impressed by the #PowerofSteam, this is my new secret weapon when it comes to giving things a thorough cleaning. Check out my review video below and subscribe to the #AMEblog YouTube channel! 


Do you own a Hoover? Have you tried the #PowerofSteam? Follow @HooverCA on Twitter and #RethinkCleaning



Posted on behalf of Hoover Canada. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author. Video and images created and owned by A Motherhood Experience Blog! 


August 24, 2015

Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Summer time has just flown by and its hard to say out loud but let's face it, there comes a time when the kids need to go back to school. Time to kick it into gear, things are about to get extra busy!

Back-to-school for some means trying out new fall beauty trends and ideas, this is true especially in women young and old-er! My oldest is only going on eleven so although she doesn't wear full-on everyday makeup, she still toys with it from time to time and hair, that's always a thing. Trying new styles, new looks and what works for her. Plus - mama could always use some new tips and tricks for her own makeup bag!

Introduce beauty with confidence and check out the following beauty tips from COVERGIRL makeup artist Veronica Chu and Pantene Consulting Stylist, Justin German using some of their (and my) favourite products from COVERGIRL, Pantene, Olay and Venus!

1 - Every great beauty look begins with a great regimen:
Following a daily hair regimen is the basis of great looking hair. One of the staples of this is a shampoo and conditioner like the Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture renewal shampoo and conditioner - I love this collection because it's designed to repair hair, control moisture levels and prevent damage for a soft, smooth moisturized feel. It makes a fantastic option for girls experimenting with new styles and putting hair through its paces so it looks healthy and strong. - Justin German
Similarly, great makeup starts with great skin. For young women in their teens and early 20's, their bodies are still growing and factors like stress and hormonal changes can cause skin to act out. I always recommend following a cleansing routine in the morning and at night, followed by a good moisturizer. One of my favourite cleansers is the Olay Total Effects Refreshing Citrus face scrub - the oil free formula won't clog pores and cleanses without over-drying. For a moisturizer, apply the Olay Total Effects Featherweight moisturizer - I like this one because it's super light weight and includes SPF for added protection. - Veronica Chu
2 - Less is more:
Playing with hair products and different styles is really fun and it's a great way to learn. But using too much product can leave hair feeling crunchy, frizzy, flat or oily. Start off with lighter products like detanglers or Pantene Pro V Stylers all-in-one styling balm to avoid this - the light multitasking formula tames frizz and flyaways by protecting from damage. As an added benefit, other styling products can be layered on top so it's a great one to experiment with. - Justin German 
When girls start asking to use makeup, think of it as a gradual transition with a very soft and natural feel. Mascara is a great way to start experimenting - I suggest younger girls go with a single coat of brown mascara to give a more natural look. My favourite for beginners is COVERGIRL Lashblast volume with its wide, straight barrel that makes it really easy to handle. Once comfortable with LashBlast volume, then branch out and try others from the COVERGIRL family like Bloom, Clump Crusher or Fusion and try out different pigments! - Veronica Chu

3 - Fresh and effortless is in:
Underdone, dropped out waves are everywhere and they're so easy to create, especially if girls wash their hair at night. Simply apply a leave in conditioner to the hair while it's still damp, then braid the hair. In the morning, break down the braid and spray the roots with Pantene Root Reboot Dry Shampoo, adding volume and texture. Not only is this look on trend, but it's a great time saver too! - Justin German
Dewy skin is a staple for the upcoming season. What makes this look particularly good for younger girls is that its so natural for them. It's all about the fresh, youthful glow they already have! To help bring out this natural glow and even out skin tone, apply a small amount of Olay Total Effects Pore Minimizing CC cream. I love the extremely light weight, oil free formula because it allows for even colour while minimizing the look of pores. - Veronica Chu

Body care is also important as young girls become young women. For those who are starting to think about shaving or have already started, the new Venus Swirl razor is designed to shave those hard-to-reach places that other razors might miss. For a fresh clean that lasts all day try Olay Fresh Outlast body washes with 3X more mild cleansers than before. 

Special OFFER! P&G and HIP Rewards are offering 2 downloadable songs with a $10 purchase of COVERGIRL, Pantene, Olay or Venus products! This special offer is valid in all Walmart locations (excluding Quebec, sorry!) between August 13th and September 10th, 2015! Check out http://Ready2Roar.hiprewards.ca for full details!


WIN IT!


We want you to be prepared for the beauty of back to school, too! ONE lucky AME reader has the chance to win this awesome Back-to-School Beauty Prize Pack valued at $100* which includes:

- Pantene Pro-V Stylers All-in-one Styling Balm ($8.99)
- COVERGIRL Colourlicious Jumbo Gloss Balm X2 ($7.99-$9.99)
- Olay Total Effects Pore Minimizing CC Cream ($32.99)
- Venus Swirl Razor ($19.99)
- $25 Walmart Gift Card 

Fill out the ballot to be entered to win! You must complete the mandatory entry to be eligible. One mandatory entry per household. Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). This giveaway is offered across various P&GMom blogs. You can enter on as many blogs as you wish however you may only win the prize once! 

Representatives of P&G are providing the prize to the winner on AME's behalf. By entering, you accept your information will be shared with the representatives of this brand should you win. Winners must qualify with a valid email address by filling out a winners claim form with skill testing question. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. More about giveaways can be found here

August 19, 2015

In just a few more weeks we will be sending the kids back to school. Although part of me is a little bit sad to see another summer come to an end, the other part is happy to get back into a normal routine. 



As the kids are getting older I find it a little easier to shop for back to school because we already know what they need like school bags, lunch bags, a couple of outfits each including new shoes and a school kit (pencil case, eraser, pencil, pen etc) to start them off. When you're shopping for more than one kid, you want to shop where you can trust you are getting good quality products for the best price. You don't want to  be spending an arm and a leg on things you may have to replace half way through the school year like bags and clothes. 

One place I love shopping when it comes to the kids is Giant Tiger. Not only is it Canadian but it's got amazingly low prices on everyday things for the whole family. 



Can you believe all of this cost only about $65 at Giant Tiger? New school back pack, pencil/pen/highlighter set, lined paper, lunch bag, food storage containers and lots more to start off the new school year! Giant Tiger has your family covered with Giant Value savings, everyday!


Celebrate back-to-school in style with the #GTBack2School Twitter party happening on August 26th, 2015 @ 8pm-9pm EDT! 

Follow hosts @GTboutique@OttawaMommyClub along with moderators @CanBlogHouse@AMotherhoodBlog using hashtag #GTBack2School!

RSVP below to join in the fun and have a chance to win some amazing prizes to get you ready for heading back to school! 

Prizes include: Grand Prize $150 BTS shopping spree plus back to school essentials basket worth $50. Second prize $50 GT GC's (six winners). Bonus prize Giant Value back to school recipe and lunch essentials basket! 







By RSVPing for this party you agree that you are 18 years or older. This party is open to everyone however only those Canadian 18+ (excluding Quebec) who RSVP and participate may win prizes. Click here for official party rules. Not sure what a Twitter party is? Click here to learn how to participate. 

There are even more chances to with with Giant Tiger! Between August 5th and September 8th, you can enter to win the Giant Tiger Back At It contest with $1000 + more in prizes! Click the image below for more details on how to get in on it! 





Sponsored by Giant Tiger. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 




Adventure is fun at any age. From make-believe back yard missions to travelling abroad, engaging in an exciting activity offers us all a sense of thrill and joy! New experiences also bring us the opportunity to try something new and bond with loved ones. 

Summer may almost be over but there is always room to learn and explore with your little one. Here are some fun tips to help create new, memorable experiences with your kids! 



Get creative!

You can help make everlasting memories by using your imagination and getting creative. When my son and I play with his play sets like Thomas & Friends, we use our imaginations, create stories and scenarios. That's the fun of make-believe, letting your little ones creativity and imagination be the guide. When the kids are older, they'll remember these special times.

All aboard!

Everything is better when you have your best friend along for the ride. Like Thomas & Friends, encourage your little one to bring a friend (even their imaginary ones) along for the fun. Together you can create memories to last a lifetime. 

Be Silly!

Silliness is part of the fun of make-believe. When the kids go on a silly adventure, go along with them. They're always thrilled when mom or dad participate plus it'll make it all the more enjoyable for both of you! 

Embrace the outdoors!

Getting outside during the summer is what being Canadian is all about! We only have a few short months of sunny summer weather to enjoy so we should embrace it while we can. Encouraging our kids to have outdoor adventures opens up a whole new world of exploring! 

No matter the activity, it's always something to remember! Planning ahead with these tips and bringing a friend like Thomas along is sure to make lasting memories for years to come!



Speaking of memories, Thomas & Friends™ has teamed up with Toys R Us to bring you a special Gold Ticket event that you won't soon forget! Starting August 1st, purchase any specially marked Gold Ticket Thomas & Friends item at a Toys R Us store, enter the special PIN online at
www.toysrus.ca/thomas and you have the chance to win the grand prize of a trip to 1 of 3 Hardrock Motels Mexico or Dominican Republic! It's an adventure you and your kids wouldn't soon forget! Click here for more info!



WIN IT!

Thomas & Friends™ want you to have a special adventure with your little ones for a chance to win a Thomas & Friends™ Take-n-Play™ Daring Dragon Drop Set ($44.99 value)! The Daring Dragon Drop Set folds up for storage and includes a die-cast metal Thomas engine, volcano with erupting feature, dragon bridge with zipline, bridge track and loop of track! 




Please fill out the entry ballot below to be eligible to win! Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done to qualify. One entry per household. Ends August 31st. 

By entering this giveaway you understand the terms and conditions on AME. Your information will not be shared unless you are drawn winner in which it will be shared with representatives of Mattel. For more information about giveaway please see our terms and conditions page.




Posted by AME in participation with the Mattel #PlayAdvocate ambassador program. Complimentary product for review purposes. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author. Prizes provided by Mattel. 

August 17, 2015

Summer has been one busy season. Between day trips and having fun in the sun, August is the month we begin to wind things down a little bit before we all prepare for the going back to school.

Just because summer is ending doesn't mean we still can't have some fun. On days when the weather hasn't cooperated, the kids can feel cooped up being stuck in the house and not able to run about outside. Some of the things we enjoy doing on these types of days are playing games together, doing a craft (like these Minions!) catching a movie on Netflix or one of my favourites - surprising the kids with a Kinder® Surprise®!

There is always such joy in their faces when I bring out these sweet surprises. They have been loving the Minions this summer - in fact, my littlest just drops her chocolate treat and jumps right into the toy surprise! With school just around the corner, I think it may call for an extra special treat in their lunches for the first day back! We are all about the #KinderSmiles!



Speaking of Kinder® Surprise®, for those of you in the Toronto area, Kinder® Canada will be at the Canadian National Exhibition again this year, but this time as the Kids' World presenting partner! This means there will be Kinder® Surprise® fun happening every day from August 21st to September 7th! The Kinder® Smile Booth will be up and running, and you can't even guess how many thousands of free Kinder® Surprise® eggs and resulting #kindersmiles they'll hand out this year! Be sure to stop by the booth and share your photos and videos on social media!

Oh yeah, if you have Instagram (which I LOVE) don't forget to follow Kinder® Canada and use hashtag #KinderSmiles when you post a Kinder related photo! They LOVE to share and regram!


Posted in participation with the Kinder Canada #KinderMom program. Incentives are received for participation however opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

August 14, 2015

Posted in participation with the Mattel #PlayAdvocate blogger program. As part of this program, special perks and incentives are obtained. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

Mother's and daughters don't always see eye to eye - oh how I remember the days battling what I thought wasn't fair with my mother. Now having two daughters of my own, I have had to learn a few new things about agreeing to disagree. 

Having and working through disagreements with our mothers is a right of passage for every girl growing up and also a great opportunity to learn from their own opinions while also remembering to respect everyone's point of view, even if they don't agree. 


Way Too Wonderland

On August 14th, Ever After High is launching it's exclusive Netflix series, Way Too Wonderland. In this series, Raven Queen, the daughter of the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, tries to magically reverse her mother's curse on Wonderland and accidentally transports her and her friends to Wonderland High. As the girls fall down the rabbit hole, their outfits are magically transformed for the new spellbinding world. Raven Queen and her mother must learn to overcome their differences to get everyone back to Ever After High

Taking a few lessons from Way Too Wonderland, here are some great tips to manage opposing ideas with your own daughter:

Talk it out

If you and your daughter are facing a difference in opinions, give her the opportunity to explain herself in a way that makes her feel heard. Sometimes simply allowing her the chance to share her perspective can help alleviate tension and move things forward.

Don't react

Instead of jumping to a reaction or conclusion, take a moment to reflect. Gather your thoughts, consider why you're having a difference in opinion and then calmly address the issue with your daughter. Often, strong emotions can lead you to act on your first instinct instead of calmly coming to a mutual agreement. You won't regret taking the time out to manage the situation.

Reverse the roles

When you have a conflict with your daughter try to put yourself in her shoes. Try to figure out where she is coming from and why she is so passionate about certain topics. When you approach her, show her that you understand and respect her point of view and explain your perspective. Even if you both agree to disagree, you'll have a much better understanding of each others viewpoints.

Encourage choice

Sometimes one of the best things we can do is let our kids make their own decisions and form their own opinions, even if they are different from your own. While you may not agree with your child's course of action, we should continue to love and support them, as this will show them that you trust them to make their own decisions and follow their own path - ultimately leading them to their own destiny!

While conflict is never pleasant and can be challenging, remember that its a moment for you and your daughter to learn and grow closer together. Just like the girls of Ever After High in Way Too Wonderland, working together is always the best solution to overcoming differences.

Visit Netflix.com to check out the new episodes for yourself!

WIN IT!

In celebration of Ever After High™ - Way Too Wonderland, ONE lucky AME reader has the chance to win a Rebel Ever After High doll ($24.99). You could win Kitty Cheshire, Ginger Breadhouse, Rosabella Beauty or Darling Charming!



Please fill out the entry ballot below to be eligible to win! Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done to qualify. One entry per household. Ends August 31st 2015. 

By entering this giveaway you understand the terms and conditions on AME. Your information will not be shared unless you are drawn winner in which it will be shared with representatives of Mattel. Qualifying winners have 48 hours to fill out a claim form including skill testing question before another winner will be drawn. Prizes can not be substituted or exchanged.




August 12, 2015

Posted in participation with the Mattel #PlayAdvocate blogger program. As part of this program, special perks and incentives are obtained. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

When it comes to music and my kids, they can't get enough. There is always someone either listening to music or making music in our house and as a parent, that is important. Music has many benefits for children such as reducing stress, encouraging us to stay active (can anyone say dance party?) and working a new area of our brains, music is a great addition to any child's life.

Here are some great tips to help encourage music in your home with your little ones, there's nothing like expressing yourself through music!

Don't follow directions:

As a parent, this is probably one of the last things I would tell my children except when it comes to music. Many parents encourage their little ones through structured music lessons but this way of learning isn't for everyone, it can be quite stressful for some. While following directions and learning to read music is vital for any musician, so is finding your own beat. Encourage your kids to break the rules once in a while by singing or playing a musical instrument how he or she pleases. This will give them the opportunity to fully express themselves by doing it!

Try making music together:

Music is a fun way to empower and express yourself. Making music with your kids allows you to communicate with each other in a way that words can't! Music will unlock your feelings, creativity and open the lines of communication. You can start them off with a fun music vuideo singalong in your living room or a fun family jam session, even if nobody really plays an instrument. You may even realize you're a better singer than you thought! 

Bust a move:

It's challenging to listen to music without moving to the rhythm. To get your little ones moving and expressing themselves, try playing a variety of music styles to inspire them. Dance along with them and encourage them to try new things too! You'll be surprised where it takes you! 

Remember that no matter what way your kids want to express themselves through music, there is no wrong way because we all approach music with our own place of creative self expression! With this, we can all have fun!

This month, Barbie™ is building up the #BeSuper message by encouraging kids to embrace their inner rockstar with the launch of The Rock N' Royals DVD in September! 


"In this upbeat musical, Barbie™ stars as Princess Courtney, a modern-day princess whose world is flipped upside down when she switches places with Erika, a famous rockstar. The two very different worlds collide when a mistake sends Princess Courtney to Camp Pop and Erika to Camp Royalty. While Princess Courtney and Erika learn to adapt to their different camps, they must come together when they find out both camps are at risk of shutting down. Through this process, they find their true voices, and come together for an epic sing-off that shows anything is possible!"

To celebrate the DVD launch, Barbie™ is giving you the chance to win a trip to Los Angeles, California for the Rock n' Royals concert featuring a surprise special guest! 

Visit www.barbie.com/en-ca/besuper/rock-n-royals to learn more about the movie and enter this amazing contest! 

Win it!

Barbie
 knows what it takes to #BeSuper and wants to share the love! ONE lucky AME reader has the chance to win a Barbie Rock 'N Royals prize which includes TWO Barbie Rock N' Royals dolls plus TWO tickets to a special pink carpet screening of the Barbie Rock N' Royals movie in OTTAWA this October! 
  



This giveaway is open to residents of OTTAWA ONTARIO Canada 18+ or those willing to come from out of town! Travel and accommodations is NOT provided. 

By entering this giveaway you understand the terms and conditions on AME. Your information will not be shared unless you are drawn winner in which it will be shared with representatives of Mattel. Qualifying winners have 48 hours to fill out a claim form including skill testing question before another winner will be drawn. Ends August 31, 2015! Prizes can not be substituted or exchanged.

Good Luck and #BeSuper!




August 10, 2015

The past couple of months we have been learning so much about the food we eat and what to buy to create wholesome, nutritious meals and snacks for our family through the PC Stars Guiding Stars program with Loblaws!


The first month we took a look at the program itself and found out how exactly this whole star system works. It's simple; foods are graded by one, two or three blue stars according to how nutritious they are. Plus, you can earn PC Plus points on certain items in your grocery cart!

After learning more about the Guiding Stars program we had an appointment with our local Loblaws Dietitian who gave us a tour of our local store, showing us exactly what kinds of foods we should be putting into our baskets from fruits and vegetables to fish, chicken, meats, dairy and healthy snacks. It really put a lot of things into perspective and I have been trying my best to avoid going back to our old "throw it in because it's on sale" grocery routine. 

This time around we did something a little different and had the opportunity to try something new with Loblaws! 

If you're looking for cooking insight or to learn a new thing or two, you can check online and see if your local Loblaws store has cooking classes available through PC Cooking School. We participated in the "Snacks fit for a Queen" cooking class for kids which was creating a cucumber sandwich snack and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Something simple enough that younger kids can make with help and older kids can make on their own. 

Our cooking school is located on the second floor of the Loblaws, a big kitchen with a trained cook to help you learn. That is also where the in-store dietitian works to help you make the most of your healthy meals. The cook was very friendly and knowledgeable, even though it was a simple recipe she gave good tips and tricks we can use in everyday cooking. 

There are different classes for different ages and levels of experience with group or private classes available. The price ranges from $10 and up depending what class. This was a beginners class more or less but it was still fun and gave us a taste of what PC Cooking School is all about. 



We may just go back before summers end and try a different one! These classes are a really great way to learn something new and spend some time together. You can find out if there is a PC Cooking School near you and what classes are offered on the official PC Cooking School website

Follow @LoblawsON on Twitter using hashtags #GuidingStarsCA #PCStarsCA and see what the other star bloggers are doing to change their grocery and overall healthy eating habits with Loblaws! 


Don't forget to enter for your chance to win a $150 PC GC! 

GuidingStars Contest


Sponsored by Loblaws in participation with the #GuidingStarsCA #PCStarsCA blogger program. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

August 7, 2015

I have said it before and I will say it again (and again): life gets busy fast. Our family is always on the go and sometimes I find the everyday things like doing laundry or going out to the grocery store time consuming.

I have always been a fan of being able to do things online from bill paying to ordering school supplies and even clothes. To make life easier on everyone Loblaws has just rolled out a new way to shop for groceries with Loblaws Click and Collect.

The concept is simple - you visit https://shop.loblaws.ca/ and sign up for a free account to get started. Select the Loblaws store nearest you. Then you choose a pick up time that works for you. Shop online for everything you need on your grocery list ($30 and up) and then pick up your order at your chosen time at your local Loblaws store! Note: some stores have free pick up while others require a small fee. You can find out about your store on the website.

Shopping is as easy as a few clicks. You can shop by aisle or by brand, you can search for specific products you need and you can also shop the flyer's right from the comfort of your own home. You can collect PC Plus points on certain items by adding your PC Plus account, too!


When you are finished filling your cart and you check out, you can double check your list and add in any promo codes you may have. Then you are asked about substitutions (in the case the product you want isn't there but a similar one is available) and also if you'd like to provide your own bags etc. This is very handy to have your order just the way you want it. 

The next step is getting your basic billing information and payment method. This service does require a valid credit card to hold your order but you can use other methods of payment like a gift card or a different credit card when you pick up your order instead if you want. This way you just go into the store at pick up and go to the customer service about your Click & Collect order once it's ready. Paying via credit card direct means you can have your order placed in your car for you, making it even more convenient for those in a rush on the go! It's nice to see there are different options to Click and Collect!
 
New stores are being added to the Click & Collect family across Ontario including a new location on Ogilvie Road here in Ottawa. Learn more about Loblaws Click & Collect and find out if it's available at a store near you! 

Follow @LoblawsON on Twitter for the latest updates!


Sponsored post on behalf of Loblaws. Gift cards received as a thank you. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

August 4, 2015

Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

The time has come where Miss M is not so much a baby anymore, she's turning three in December. She walks, she talks, she laughs and she plays. She is growing quickly from baby to little girl. She's your typical preschooler and she is ready to begin potty training. 

Miss M is our youngest of three kids so you can say that we've been down this road before however, every child is different. Some kids will start younger while others may take some time (and coaxing) to get it right. Whatever you do, don't give up. Keeping positive and having patience are the best tools to help your little one thrive. You're teaching them an important life lesson, after all.



How did we know she was ready to start? 

Having siblings, she has always been exposed to big kid things, including using the toilet *in the morning, before bath time or those times she just follows somebody in!*. She started to show more of an interest a couple of months ago and lately became more verbal about wanting to use the toilet. Although she has yet to actually do anything, that's one step to knowing she's ready to begin learning. 

Do we have any special tools or techniques to help things along?

So far it's Dora the Explorer Pampers Easy Ups, you can also get them for boys with Thomas the train on them. She loves the fact that Dora is on her big girl pants and she is more comfortable in them as they are not as bulky as regular diapers. Easy Ups start at size 2T-3T so they are prefect to transition from diapers to underwear, something for in between. So far we don't need any special tools or techniques other than that to get her interest.  I think our next step will be getting her a toilet seat cover of her own. She can sit without one but having the right seat size and a step stool to rest her feet on will help her get comfortable while potty training.  

Methods we have used with our two older kids:

We tried different recommended methods such as "rewards" (stickers, candies, etc), "special underwear" and things like that. We got the toilet seat covers but didn't buy the little portable potty's as I wanted them to get used to the real toilet from the get-go. As I said, every child is different so do what works for you and your family. 

The thing that works  the most though, is positive reinforcement and encouragement. Kids do  better when you praise the good and don't make a big huge deal out of the bad but still show them the right way. 

We are just at the beginning of our potty training journey and I know it's not going to be easy. It's a learning process every time but thanks to Pampers Easy Ups, we are starting off in the right direction!

Stay tuned for more #PottyTraining tips, tricks and more here on the blog and social media @AMotherhoodBlog on Twitter and Instagram! 

Learn more about Easy Ups and other great Pampers products by liking the Pampers Facebook page and following @Pampers on Twitter! 



WIN IT!

We are celebrating Miss M's #PottyTraining journey with a giveaway!! Do you have a potty trainer in the house or know somebody about to start their own journey? Enter for a chance to win a @Pampers #PottyTraining bundle that includes Pampers Easy Ups (in winners choice of size), Pampers wipes and Ivory Snow laundry detergent! 

Enter using the ballot below!

Open to Canadian residents 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Winner will be drawn at random using GiveawayTools on August 30th, 2015.

Representatives of P&G are providing the prize to the winner on AME's behalf. By entering, you accept your information will be shared with the representatives of this brand should you win. Winners must qualify with a valid email address by filling out a winners claim form with skill testing question. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. More about giveaways can be found here.