7/26/16

It feels as if summer time just began (technically it did on June 29th!) but it's time to think of the hustle and bustle of going back to school for a new year! 

I know, nobody wants to talk about it but I for one like to be prepared way in advance and not have to worry about last minute things like supplies and clothes. 

As our oldest daughter K gets ready to head into a new school for Grade 7, we find ourselves looking at security features for her things while she's at school. For one she will have a new locker, she will need a lock. It's a big school with a lot of students, we want to make sure we are sending her off as safe as possible. Below are some great school safety tips from Master Lock for tweens, teens and parents. With these, everyone should have a great start to the new school year! 

Familiarize Yourself With Your School: Your first day in a new environment can be overwhelming. If possible, head to campus or your school building prior to the first day of classes and find your classroom, test your route to class and explore the campus or facility. It’s important to learn the buildings’ exits, emergency protocol and evacuation plans and the location of the nurse’s office or school health center so you can be prepared for the unexpected.

Use a Trusted Locker Lock: Perfect for lockers, Master Lock’s innovative, technology-based Indoor Bluetooth Padlock (4400D) is operated by a Smartphone versus a combination or physical key. Not only does the product appeal to tech-savvy students but also to parents who are concerned about their child forgetting their locker lock’s combination. The product has an award-winning design and is feature-rich, allowing authorized users to control their padlocks, monitor the padlock’s activity and share digital keys. Equally innovative, the 1500iD Speed Dial™ Set-Your-Own Combination Lock which opens with a combination of directional movements, is easy to use and comes in four vibrant color options (red, purple, blue and black).



Secure Your School Supplies: School bags and gym bags include important school documents, personal information, homework and valuable items, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and money. Attach the easy-to-use Master Lock 1550DAST Backpack Lock, which comes in four bold colors to help identify your bag. Or, use the versatile Master Lock 1548DCM Set Your Own Combination Padlock. This added layer of protection will help deter possible theft and provide peace of mind so you can worry less about your belongings and focus on enjoying the school year and extra-curricular activities.


 Add Safety Precautions to New Living Quarters: For those heading out and living on college campuses, dorm living is an adjustment. While it may be fun to pop in and out of your neighbor’s room to study or watch TV, it’s important to remember that all your possessions, such as electronics, remain in your dorm room even when you are not. Keep your valuables securely stored to help protect against theft and other vulnerabilities. For smaller electronics and other valuables, such as cell phones and MP3s, use the Master Lock 5900D SafeSpace portable mini safe and for your laptop, consider the SentrySafe PL048E Portable Laptop Safe.


  

For more back-to-school safety tips, visit the Master Lock website or connect with Master Lock on social via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.


WIN IT!

We want you to start your tween or teens school year off safe too! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a Master Lock (choice between Master Lock 1550DAST Backpack Lock or Master Lock 1548DCM Set Your Own Combination Padlock) just in time for preparing for BTS! Fill out the giveaway ballot for your chance to win!

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 5th 2016. Valid email address and skill testing question to qualify. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. More about giveaways can be found here.

Prize provided by representatives of Master Lock. By entering the giveaway you are accepting that if you win your contact info will be shared for shipping purposes only. Please allow 4-6 weeks after giveaway closing for your prize.






Posted on behalf of Master Lock. Complimentary product provided. Opinions and comments are my own.


7/23/16

Argh! Matey! Did you know there is a Pirate Ship right in Ottawa? That's right, a pirate ship. Complete with a captain and pirate crew on the Grey Ghost located on Mooney's Bay with Pirate Adventures Ottawa! 

We took the kids on an adventure fit for the whole family. We had never been on anything like this before so it was exciting not knowing exactly what to expect. I heard great things from fellow bloggers and they were right! Fun from the get-go!


Before setting sail, the kids (and adults) got to dress up in Pirate gear, face (and fake tattoo) painting and get an official Pirate name! I couldn't wear a vest because I was already too hot (hello 30-degree sunny day!) but one of the Pirates got me with the face paint and I was the "mustache woman" as the kids kept calling me. 

There is a gift shop on site where you register for your pirate cruise. Although we didn't buy anything, it looked like there were some great souvenirs. 

That afternoon we were official pirates! We sailed around Mooney's Bay fighting off evil pirates and finding hidden treasure! 

I thought it was great! Interaction from start to finish, not a pirate missed a beat! Our oldest volunteered at first to take the Captains hat and be a new Captain. She had fun with it.  Not only the kids got to have fun either, some of the parents were chosen as volunteers for the pirate story. At one point the Captain sneezed and she wiped her pirate goobers on me (not really). It was a lot of fun for everyone. 


This is totally a family friendly activity. There were kids of all ages but I would recommend ages 3 and up. There was a lot of laughing, jokes and stories, music, dancing and just simple fun. It would be a fun event for a birthday party too!

There are several shows a day - morning, mid-afternoon and later in the afternoon. They run for about 75 minutes. The shows are offered in English or French or both. Tickets cost $28 per person or $22 per person in groups of 10 or more. Kids under 2 are $12. 


You can learn more about Pirate Adventures and book your pirate cruise on the official Pirate Adventures Ottawa website!

You can also follow the pirate fun on Facebook and Twitter!

Want to see more of our Pirate Adventure pictures? Head over to AME's Instagram!


Posted by AME on behalf of pirate adventures Ottawa. Complimentary cruise obtained for review purposes. Opinions and comments are my own. 


7/19/16

In June we were introduced to #MixedFeeding our dogs and tried it out for the last few weeks thanks to some fantastic products from Pedigree!

It wasn't difficult to introduce them as they sometimes have canned food as a treat, they seemed to look forward to "wet food day". The only protester we had was our Sofi. For some reason she wouldn't eat the wet food at first, even mixed with dry unless we hand fed her. I'm not sure she understood it was her new dinner at first! 

Of course we had no problem with the other three - Sasha, Ruffy and big Daizy - adapting to their new diet. They enjoyed every bit of it every time. 



After several weeks of #MixedFeeding we have good results to report. All of the dogs have been loving this new doggy menu. 
  • When mixing wet and dry, the dogs will now eat both instead of just eating the wet and leaving behind the dry.

  • We have also noticed healthy weight gain (Sasha was always on the smaller side), boosted energy and less fur shedding in the past month with Pedigree compared to other brands or strictly dry food feeding. This could be because of the extra nutrients they get from both types of food mixed.
Overall #mixedfeeding has been an enjoyable experience and I think we will be continuing on this track for our dogs! What makes our dogs happy, makes us happy! 

Did you know #MixedFeeding is good for both dogs and cats? It can help keep them hydrated through the hotter summer months! Great tip to know! :) 


Win it!

Hey #AMEBlog pet owners! Do you want to try #MixedFeeding with your dog or cat? Enter to win a $100 MixedFeeding bundle by filling out 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 July31st. Valid email address and skill testing question to qualify. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. More about giveaways can be found here.

Prize provided by representatives of Pedigree. By entering the giveaway you are accepting that if you win your contact info will be shared for shipping purposes only. Please allow 4-6 weeks after giveaway closing for your prize.




Sponsored post on behalf of Mars Pet & Pedigree. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.


7/14/16

I may or may not get flack for this from some people but I cannot sit back and take in this virtual trash any longer. 

For the past couple of days, posts have been popping up about this Instagram picture of Victoria Beckham giving her five year-old little girl a kiss on the lips. 



Oh. My. God! HOW could she?!? Excuse me while I finish laughing. 

Now we also have "experts" claiming there could be psychological damage caused by this method of affection...ahem.

This isn't the first time this argument has graced us with its presence but I wish it would be the last time. 

First of all mad people of the Internet (not everyone, I know many awesome people out there), kissing your child on the lips is not a big deal. 

am tired of grown adults sexualizing everything about our kids. Let them be kids, show them they are loved and how to love in a world that's so full of hate! 

When we talk about families and affection, we don't ever mention that most kisses come in the form of a quick peck. A quick peck that teaches your child how to show affection. It shows them they are loved.

Their innocent minds don't think like a corrupt adult. To them, a kiss or a hug is a form of expressing their love and gratitude. Nothing more. 

Are parents not guides to their children? Besides teaching them right from wrong, it is also our responsibility to show our children how to be loving, caring individuals.

Kissing is also a form of respect in many cultures. Look it up! 

If that's not your way of showing affection, that's OK. But please don't come at those who show affection in this way with burning torches. There are worse things in this world than a parent giving their child a loving peck.

As parents, we all try to do our best with what we have and what we know. We should be building each other up, not tearing each other down or making each other’s means feel wrong.

Posted by AME on behalf of all loving parents around the world. Edited in part by ReeseSpeaks. Image embedded via Instagram. Opinions and comments are our own. 

7/9/16

We had a splashing good time last year enjoying the sunshine at Calypso Waterpark in Limoges, Ontario. Click here to read about our adventure!

This year we made a family fun day of it and went as a group with the five of us plus my sister in law, niece and nephew. Rain or shine we were determined to go again this year and that we did. 

Yes, we were all a little disappointed in the weather not cooperating and it was a bit chilly but we didn't let it put too much of a damper on the day. We brought long sleeve shirts and extra dry towels! There are plenty of tables with umbrellas to relax at between rides! 


If you didn't know, Calypso has over 35 state-of-the-art water slides, heated pools, two theme rivers, North America's highest water slide tower, Canada's largest wave pool, over 100 water games and more!

Also, Calypso takes safety seriously with over 600 trained staff and a team of 120 certified lifeguards and slide attendants. There is also an on-site nurse if needed. If you need a life jacket for your kids, they are available on site. Like any theme park, the best way to have fun is to follow the rules and play safe! 


During our visit we hit some of our favourite slides and attractions like the Pirate's Aquaplay and Zoo Lagoon. We also tried some rides we hadn't before like the Kongo Expedition and spent some time in the wave pool! We made a game with Miss M to "swim away" when the waves came! 

I admit, I'm a little (a lot) afraid of heights therefore I tend to stay away from rides that you need a ladder or a bunch of stairs to get up to. Miss K talked me into doing the Black Hole, her favourite slide. It wasn't that bad but I screamed anyway. 

We enjoyed a hamburger and fries lunch at the Cafeteria followed by some more rides and relaxing beside the wave pool to finish off our day. We returned home to Ottawa once again happy and tired!  

If you're looking for a great day out take a trip to Calypso! 

Did you know Calypso Waterpark is one of the finalists in the Top Outdoor Attraction category of the ONTARIO CHOICE AWARDS?   

Make a splash in your new bathing suit this summer and take the family to Calypso Park for a day of thrills, laughs and new memories!

Share your Calypso fun on social media Instagram, Twitter and Tag Calypso on Facebook when you visit and show everyone what they're missing out on! 

Have you been to Calypso before? Know someone who has? VOTE and let's bring our favourite water park to the top! Click here! 

Win it!

We want you to experience the fun of Calypso park this summer! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a family pass (vouchers) to Calypso! Please carefully read rules before entering.

Enter using the ballot below! 

Open to Ontario, Canada (and surrounding area including Quebec) residents 18+. This giveaway is for 4 Calypso Waterpark (Limoges, ON) day passes. 
Passes must be used during the 2016 Season (season ends September 5th) and outside of the following Blackout dates: July 30th and August 13, 2016 
.

Travel, food, parking and any other accommodations are the responsibility of the winner.

Prize provided by Calypso Waterpark on behalf of AME. 


Posted on behalf of Calypso Waterpark. Complimentary theme park tickets were acquired for review purposes. Prize compliments of AME. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and my own. 

7/5/16

Giveaways are a great way to say Thank You to our readers and share with you the things we think are pretty awesome!

Who doesn't love the chance to win something cool? If you enter giveaways why not share in our new AME Canadian Giveaway Linky page! Each month we will be refreshing the page accordingly. 

We welcome all Canadian Giveaways to come link up your JULY giveaways! 

Follow the link below (or page tab at the top of the blog) to get started! 

http://www.amotherhoodexperience.com/p/giveaway-linky.html


7/2/16

We had a quiet Canada Day. I had checked out my weather app and saw it was threatening to rain and thunderstorm almost all day. It did, too. On and off in downpours so I am kind of glad we decided to stay home and make a day of it here. 

A perfect day to just relax, enjoy our official first day of summer vacation and maybe take in a little bit of Netflix since the rain put a damper on anything outside. No pun intended. ;-) 

Canada's official birthday has come and gone but that doesn't mean the celebrating has to end after July 1st!

Netflix Canada recommends some great homegrown shows and movies you can get back to your roots with! 

For the kids:


The Magic School bus - an old favourite from I think pretty much every adult Canadian my age and younger's childhood. Educational and entertaining, my kids like this one. 



Caillou - love him or hate him, Caillou is here to stay! Miss M is my third kid to actually enjoy watching this Canadian favourite among preschoolers. She sings and she dances. This show has its own  magic. Maybe it's the bright colours in the show or the fact he kind of looks like Charlie Brown, whatever the case Caillou will keep your toddler or preschooler happy! 



Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Dog Days - My oldest loves the Wimpy Kid books so naturally she is drawn to the movies. I'm sure she will check this one out with her younger brother if they haven't already. My older two can binge watch like the best of us! This movie was filmed in Vancouver, B.C.! 

For the grown-ups:


The Change-Up - As a Canadian, I'm a Ryan Reynolds fan myself. I have seen this comedy. It's about two friends who basically switch lives with hilarious outcomes and I will most likely be watching it again now that it's available on Netflix! It's a great comedy for a stay-in date night with the hubby.



How I Met Your Mother - what better time to start watching another series I haven't had the chance to than on those lazy summer nights! I've heard great things about HIMYM and so far I haven't been disappointed watching a show others raved about. 

For the entire family: 


Shrek the third - the 3rd instalment in the Shrek franchise starring Canadian born Mike Meyers. You are always in for a laugh with the Shrek movies. 

You can find these and more great Canadian hits on Netflix.ca! 

Find out what everyone's watching this summer and follow along social media using hashtag #StreamTeam!



Posted in participation with the Netflix Canada #StreamTeam. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

7/1/16

This year Canada is celebrating 149 years of being an amazing country. 

Every year our nations capital and my hometown, Ottawa have some big celebrations downtown and all over the city. The stores might be closed but there's still lots to do!

I am thankful for the country we live in. 

From our beautiful lakes, scenic lands and bold cities, I am proud to call this country my home. 


Happy birthday Canada!!! 

6/30/16

Most of the time, during the summer months you won't find us in the house. Instead, like everyone else, you will find us out and about enjoying the weather with some real summer fun. 

On those days when we may be stuck inside due to weather or other unforeseen happenings, we can always keep the kids occupied with the help of Playmobil! 

Explore life and the great outdoors with the Playmobil Wild Life Adventure Treehouse play set. Located in the heart of the forest, this tree house is surrounded by wildlife. Watch as a mother bear and her cub fish for their dinner, while a fox family plays nearby. Just beware of the broken planks on the bridge or you might fall through! Use the hoist to lift the heavy supplies up to the tree house. At the end of the day, keep wild visitors out by pulling up the staircase. 



This set includes two figures, tree house with grass platform, bridge of broken planks, hoist, bears, geese, foxes, owl, bald eagle, a bird with a nest, rock caves, fish, fishing pole, snake, walkie talkie, computer, supply boxes and other cool accessories. 

Available at most retail stores and independent toy retailers for around $79.99. Ages 4+ years. 

This was another great set to add to the kids ever growing Playmobil collection. They love mixing and matching their themed sets and figures to create an endless rainy day of imaginative play.

For more information about Playmobil visit www.playmobil.ca 


WIN IT!

We want  you to add some summer fun to your kids Playmobil collection - Enter for your chance to win a Playmobil Wild Life Adventure Pick Up Truck! ($49.99
ages 4 years+)

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 July 20th. Valid email address and skill testing question to qualify. Winners have 48 hours to claim before prize is redrawn. More about giveaways can be found here.


Prize provided by representatives of Playmobil. By entering the giveaway you are accepting that if you win your contact info will be shared for shipping purposes only. Please allow 4-6 weeks after giveaway closing for your prize.


Entry-Form

Posted on behalf of Playmobil. Complimentary product received for feature purposes. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author. 
I feel like such a dork writing this but I have to tell you, I had never watched the show Gilmore Girls until it came to Netflix. I don't know why I never watched it. I guess my taste in programming has changed over the years, I was after all only in my mid-twenties when this show came out. Maybe I didn't quite understand the whole "Mom-Daughter" duo. 



Everyone I spoke to watched it though, talked about it. My mother even ranted and raved about how great a show it was. I read article upon article about how great a show it was but it wasn't up until this year that I started watching Gilmore Girls. I guess you can say Netflix kind of gave me a boost. 

When Gilmore Girls originally aired on TV, I had a newborn baby. My first newborn baby, might I add. Those were actually my "Sex in the city" days. you see, I didn't get to watch a whole lot of TV. Anything that actually aired, I watched it in reruns on different channels. No, we didn't have a DVR or anything like that. "Sex in the city" played repeats on a certain channel at the baby's feeding time almost every evening, so we'd watch it while feeding and cuddling afterward.

Anyway, back to the topic of Gilmore Girls. As I have said before, I watch many different shows now that we can stream pretty much whatever we want whenever we want. In between seasons of shows I love, I decided to give Gilmore Girls a shot. Why not check out what everyone was raving about 10 years ago and still are today.

I won't write a review about the show. That's been done 1000 times by now, I'm sure (just Google it). But, I will say I enjoyed it. It's a much cleaner-cut show than I usually watch and some of the fashion was a little questionable, but I enjoyed it. The story was a heartwarmer at the least. It brought back memories of the early 2000's with the pop culture references and such. So nostalgic! 

So, I finished it. All seven seasons. I started in January (like I said I would here) and I finished just the other day. That's a lot of binge-watching, it helps that we don't have to wait once a week to see the next episode! 

If you are a Gilmore Girls fan or just on any kind of social media at all, you've probably heard about the reboot , Gilmore Girls - A Year In The Life coming to Netflix later on this year. It will be 4 90 minute episodes and I bet they will be great! 

According to the Gilmore Girls Facebook page, we are in for a treat on July 1st with ALL episodes being available worldwide only on Netflix. Does this mean we can catch up sooner than we expected? 

What are you looking forward to most about the return of the Gilmore Girls?


Posted on behalf of the Netflix Canada #StreamTeam. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author.