3/10/17

Ah March break is just around the corner for us, some of you may already be enjoying the time off. Breaks always help us unwind, put aside the day to day, rest our bodies and our minds. In just a couple of more weeks my kids will have no school or real routine for a little over a week (including weekends) and neither will I. Despite not having to get up at 6:30 AM to rush the older ones off to school, March break is definitely made for the kids.

Us grownups are only here to take care of them and make sure they have an amazing week off, right? As much as we would all love to be that perfect super parent every single day, we need to take it easy and allow the kids to be kids. Electronic devices are nice to have but what can they do that doesn’t include having to charge up? Think Duracell.

  • Entertain with battery powered toys. Younger kids don’t always have access to the latest technology like their older siblings or parents may have, reintroduce the love of battery operated toys.
  • Create a memory book without using your smartphone. The Fujifilm Instax camera (available at Walmart) is a great option to allow your kids big and little to take some great shots without taking over your smartphone (and filling up your camera roll!).
  • Print out fun. The internet is a vast library of ideas; why not print out some fun colouring and activity pages for your little ones!
  • Travelling and want to keep the little ones quiet? Battery operated portable music players for kids preloaded with their favourite tunes can keep those back seat meltdowns at bay.
If all else fails, go for a board game. It gives kids a chance to learn (taking turns, team playing etc), spend time as a family and they are also fun. You can find fun battery operated games like Trolls Operation, Toilet Trouble or Despicable Me 3 Operation from Hasbro at Walmart.

We can’t trust that our kids won’t flip out once or twice despite our best efforts over March Break, but we can trust Duracell to power our kids favourite toys and games to help make us make it through with less #MarchBreakMeltdowns.
Follow @Duracell on Twitter and like the Duracell Facebook page for the latest updates!

WIN IT!

Share your tips and tricks to avoid #MarchBreakMeltdowns for your chance to win Duracell batteries and a $50 Walmart Gift Card! 

Simply follow the directions and enter using the ballot below! One lucky AME reader will be drawn and contacted via provided email on March 30th, 2017.

Open to Canadians 18+. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. One entry per household. For more info about giveaways see our disclosure page



Sponsored post on behalf of Duracell and Hasbro. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

3/8/17

March 8th was International Women's Day, you may have seen me hashtagging it today on social media. It has had me thinking. 



Some days, moms can be hard on ourselves (I know, I do it all the time.) We beat ourselves up over the smallest things, sometimes things that are out of our control, all for the happiness of our children and our families. We always seem to forget a few things; We may be moms but we are still women, we are strong. Our girls look up to us, in their lives, we are their leading lady even if as they get older they may not admit it. 



I've touched on leading ladies of Netflix in the past, there are so many great ones and with new shows coming almost monthly, there are many more to come! 







Some of our favourite leading ladies include Stranger Things Eleven and Joyce (each for obvious reasons!), Orange Is The New Black has an entire cast of women who radiate their own strengths in different ways, even kids shows like Beat Bugs, Tarzan and Jane, and A Series of Unfortunate Events proves that girl power comes in all shapes and forms.









In a world that can be tough, I want to make sure my own girls know how smart, strong and beautiful they are inside and out. With the right encouragement and power to them, our girls can do anything they set their little hearts on. Being unique is the new normal! 









This month you and your kids can catch leading lady Julie Andrews debut on Netflix with Julie's Greenroom! the Jim Henson Company brings to life an enriching show that advocates for the arts and the positive impact creativity can have on every child's life. With an array of very special guests (Idina Menzel, Sara Bareilles, and Alec Baldwin to name a few), Julie’s Greenroom might be a show you turn on for the kids but find yourself staying until the final curtain call.





Posted on behalf of the Netflix Canada #Streamteam. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.
Kids and imagination go hand in hand when it comes to playing. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into my living room or one of the kid's rooms to see a homemade fort made up of pillows and blankets with one or all of the kids hiding inside.

Having recently switched up the kid's rooms a little bit, we wanted to give our son something new and something fun for his room without taking up too much of his already small space. 

Pacific Play Tents were the solution! A stylish bed tent for our only boy to hide away from his sisters plus it takes up little to no room, fitting perfectly over his twin bed. The HQ Bed Tent is easy to assemble and comes with everything you need to get started, including magnetic poles and a storage bag. You simply follow the directions inserting the poles into the correct slots, fit it over any twin bed mattress and voila - your kids have an at-home camp set up in minutes. I suggest having two adults put it together; one to hold one end while the other inserts the poles but I managed to do it myself with little frustration. 


My son's room still needs to be repainted, he had a cars theme before but wants to change it up to something more "G.I. Joe" style, he loves his new tent! It gives him (the only boy other than dad in the house) some privacy at night and when he just wants to get away and be alone. He calls it his clubhouse! 



Pacific Play Tents are award-winning high-quality kids' play environments designed to bring priceless smiles and imagination to your kids. They promote child interaction, imagination, and creativity plus, endless fun! Whether you're looking for a tent, a tunnel, parachutes or play houses, you can find it at Pacific Play Tents.



Unique features Pacific Play Tents have that others do not:
- Tents and tunnels are larger in size than others on the market
- They can be used both indoors and outdoors - many are even waterproof
- They are built to last, even through rough play.
- They come with colour-coded, G-3 Super Poles for easy setup.
- Tents and tunnels are inter-connective, which means kids can build their own make believe cities, mazes, and forts!
- Each tent comes with a carrying case for storage or to take on the go. 
- There is a tent for every age and stage.

You can check out the variety of different tents offered online at www.pacificplaytents.com!

Follow Pacific Play Tents on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

WIN IT!

One lucky AME reader has the chance to win their very own HQ Bed Tent! Simply follow the directions and enter using the ballot below!

Open to Canadian (excluding Quebec) and US residents 18+. One entry per household. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Chances of winning depend on number of entrants at giveaways end. 

Ends March 20th 2017 9pm ET. 

GOOD LUCK!




Posted on behalf of Pacific Play Tents. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and my own. 

3/6/17

We all try our best to live a healthy lifestyle but life gets busy and sometimes our personal health and fitness goals may get put on the backburner. How many times have I woke up in the morning and said "today is the day I will start exercising more/eating better!" having a brain full of ideas until something else comes up and those ideas get put aside, life goes on.

One way to keep your health and fitness goals intact is being organized! Introducing The Healthy Grail Health Planner by Randa Derkson of The Bewitchin' Kitchen



The Healthy Grail Health Planner has 22 pages that include logs, lists, plans and trackers that can be personalized to help you keep your health and fitness goals organized! Check out Randa's video below where she tells us all about her planner in more detail!


The Healthy Grail is being introduced for a limited time at a "pay what you want price"! It's in ebook format (in three lovely colours) which means you can print it out yourself or bring it to a printer to have a booklet made just for you! Click here to get your copy today! 

3/2/17

Winter isn't quite over yet despite most of the snow melting and springtime teasing us with temperatures warmer than the usual around this time of year. As a Canadian, I'm no fool - I know we will have a few more weeks left of my least favourite season!

I'm thinking ahead to warmer days, looking forward to when the snow finally melts for good, the birds come out to play and it's officially springtime once again!

This spring I am upgrading my foot wardrobe; being a sneaker-style woman I am super excited to show off my brand new Skechers Burst 2.0 new avenues (in black and white)!



New Skechers Burst 2.0 New Avenues shoes are slip-on sporty casual walking sneakers with a soft mesh knit fabric upper, flexible outter sole and Air Cooled Memory Foam insole. They are both comfortable and stylish, I have been wearing them inside to try them out and I cannot wait to wear these outside when the weather gets nicer! By summer time, they will be my go-to shoe! 

Life has both us parents running around like crazy, hubby also got himself a new pair of running shoes for the upcoming spring season - Skechers Relaxed Fit: Skech Flex 2.0 Kominar (in black/grey)! Did you know that Rob Lowe is the new face (or foot?) of Skechers men's shoes? Click here to see him featured on Skechers Instagram! 


These shoes give him true freedom of motion with sporty style and comfort. They have a sporty mesh fabric with stitching accents, synthetic upper, Air Cooled Memory Foam insole and lace up for a comfortable athletic training sneaker. 

While these are just two styles, Skechers Canada has hundreds to choose from for everyone in your family; mom, dad and the kids! 

Follow Skechers Canada on Twitter and Instagram for the latest in comfy and affordable footwear fashion! 

Win it!

We want you to step into spring in style! TWO lucky AME readers have the chance to win a pair of Skechers shoes of their choice! Simply read the rules and fill out the ballot below to be entered! 

TWO lucky winners will be drawn and emailed by March 20th!

Open to Canadians 18+ (excluding Quebec). Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. One entry per household. Ends March 20th, 2017. For more information about giveaways please see our sites disclosure.

Entry-Form

Posted on behalf of Skechers Canada. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments on this blog are my own.

2/28/17

My family is not completely honest with each other. As much as we all try, we each have failed at one point or another and have cheated on a family member or two. 

Netflix cheated. I know, how could we? 46% of global streamers cheat, we can't help it. It's just so hard to press pause!

Husband vs Wife 



We finally get to lay down in bed after a long day, both looking forward to a show we have been wanting to binge watch together for a while like The OA, Narcos or Stranger Things. We get through an episode or two and enjoy them but then it happens, one of us falls asleep (namely me) and the other left awake (namely hubby) will be so into the show that several episodes go on before he realizes he just Netflix cheated. 

Sometimes it's done deliberately and I have zero shame in admitting it! I threaten to cheat when hubby doesn't feel like watching one of our shows and I do...well let me just get my iPad and headphones out while you enjoy that movie instead...

Of course, our rule is if you cheat, you rewatch with the one who missed out the first round. 

Sibling vs Sibling



My kids like watching shows together but have different bedtimes. On occasion my oldest will go ahead and watch a show without her brother only resulting in him being upset that he cheated and went on watching without her, he too wanted to see what happens next!

Parents vs the kids



We will watch a movie or a show together on Friday night. Well, these movies or shows sometimes need to be screened and who better to do that than mom and dad! Yes, there are ratings but you never know right? That's our story and we're sticking to it! Screening is not necessarily cheating when you are protecting your young! :-P

We love sharing time together getting in great entertainment from Netflix. I am happy though that there is enough variety, all of us can pick something to binge solo and not have the cheating guilt.


Posted on behalf of the Netflix Canada StreamTeam. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

2/22/17

Oh, Canada our home and native land - what a beautiful country we live in. Across our nation we have much to celebrate from gorgeous natural scenery to a rich heritage coast-to-coast, every province tells its story. No wonder we are all so proud to be Canadian!

This year, Canada is celebrating it's 150th and there is so much going on right here in our capital city! From parties, exhibits, special events and more, we are celebrating our country in all its glory throughout 2017! 

You love your country and you draw/paint, this is your chance to show what Canada really means to you through your artwork! 

Carlingwood Shopping Centre (along with other 20VIC managed properties across the country) is looking for Ottawa's talented artists 18+ to create beautiful murals reflecting our countries past, present, and future in celebration of the Canada 150 Artist Installation for Canada's 150th birthday!



The grand prize winner's creative artwork will win them a very nice prize including an honourarium of $1000 in their name, having their art displayed at Carlingwood Shopping Centre leading up to the 2017 Canada Day celebrations plus they'll even help show off the winning art with promotion and PR support!

Just think, your art (or maybe the art of someone you  know) could serve as a beautiful focal point and landmark in Carlingwood as well as a backdrop for their upcoming Canada 150 "selfie" contest and more!

What are you waiting for?

If you have an artistic idea that would be perfect for the Canada 150 Artist Installation at Carlingwood Shopping Centre the deadline for submission is March 14th, 2017! The official winners all across Canada will be unveiled on May 1st, 2017 and stay on display at local participating shopping malls up until Canada Day!

Please visit the Carlingwood Shopping Centre website for full prize details, instructions and official contest rules! 


Follow Carlingwood Shopping Centre on social media:







Sponsored by Carlingwood Shopping Centre. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

2/15/17

Winter has me feeling like a bear, staying indoors and avoiding the cold weather as much as possible. It's got my fashion sense to an all time low with warm sweatpants and sweaters, I may or may not have been wearing thick socks with panda faces on them. 

This winter hibernation phase won't last forever. I bet I am not the only one dreaming of the warmer days. It's time to put a new sleek look from Svelte Shapewear into the wardrobe!

Not wanting to completely ditch my comfy style, the Wide Leg Leggings work for my needs. They are all-season ready for any occasion. The flared ankle draws the eye all the way up, giving a leg lengthening effect. To top off the dramatic result is the waistband which gives you a slender physique. 

I am used to wearing tight, stretchy black pants. They have become part of my everyday attire whether I'm staying in or going out. They go with casual or fancier tops and can be thrown on in a hurry.



Although I still love my regular black pants the Svelte Shapewear look and feel great on. They are tighter than what I'm used to (and honestly maybe I could have gotten away with a bigger size) but their not "muffin top" tight, which is good because that is not a good look to sport. Overall, impressed with the quality, comfort and that they do cater to what a woman would need when looking for a higher-end stretchy pant! Dressy enough to wear out, stretchy enough for a workout!

This is just one style of shapewear pants Svelte has to offer. They also have denim and a new line of tank tops! 

You can see the entire line of Svelte Shapewear by visiting the official website!

For the latest updates and more:

Follow Svelte Shapewear on Instagram
Like the Svelte Shapewear Facebook page
Follow Svelte Shapewear on Twitter 


WIN IT


We want you to look as good as you feel too! One lucky AME reader has the chance to win a Svelte Shapewear piece of their choice (over $100 value!)! Enter using the ballot below!

Please follow the guidelines: Must be Canadian 18+ excluding Quebec to participate. One entry per household. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Ends March 1st 2017

For more info about giveaways please see our disclosure section. 



Posted on behalf of Svelte Shapewear. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Giveaway prize sponsored and sent by representatives of Svelte Shapewear. Opinions and comments on this blog are my own. 

2/10/17

We do everything for our kids, we love them and we make sure all of their needs are met every single day of our adult lives, it's all part of the parenting gig. When Valentine's Day comes along, as much as I love to include them and show them how much mommy and daddy love them, I tend to want to put them in bed a little bit earlier so that us adults can spend some quality alone time together - with a bit of Netflix!

This month you can settle down with your honey and tune into some great programming - for grownups! 

For the romantic couple:


I have my moments when I am in the mood for something lighthearted, something that will tear at the emotional love heart strings. You might want to have a box of kleenex while watching these.

PS I Love You 
The Longest Ride
The Time Travelers Wife
Valentines Day
The Princess Bride
Amour
Kate & Leopold

For the couple who have been together forever:


Romance is all fine and dandy but it doesn't matter what you're watching, as long as it's together. You are one of those couples who has "their shows" and watch them together religiously.

Netflix Original Series - Santa Clarita Diet
Netflix Original Series - Lovesick
Netflix Original Series - Love
Riverdale - weekly episodes
Mr. Right

For the solo celebrator:


Not everybody is in a couple and that's OK, call up your single BFF and have some fun on Valentines Day! 

Brides Maids
How to lose a guy in 10 days
Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club
Ali Wong Baby Cobra
Far from the madding crowd

Anti-Valentines Day:


You stumbled upon this post and don't really care about Valentine's Day, there's something for you too, my friend!

Netflix Original Clinical
Netflix Original I am the pretty thing that lives in the house
Green Room
Hush
Oculus
You're Next

However you celebrate and whatever you watch, have a happy Valentine's Day! 



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

2/7/17

Even though Valentine's Day is just one day, I always call February "the month of love". Although I would love to have a private (meaning grownups only) dinner alone with my better half but I can make you a list of reasons why that isn't possible. Instead, we take the day to show our love to each other as a family and make it a point to spend some alone time in the evening, even if it's just watching a movie and ordering in. 

I am one who likes to give little tokens of love when I can, I'm a gift giver by nature. If I can give, I will. I don't expect anything in return except for a smile and Valentine's Day is no exception. Don't expect Christmas in February but I like to give a little token of my love to show I am thinking about them on a special day. 

Step aside chocolates and roses (well, maybe just the roses)! This year, Hallmark Canada sent me a preview of what you can find in store for your sweetheart this Valentine's Day! 

For the fashionista:

For your mom, your sister, your daughter or your BFF; these cute and trendy gifts will surely warm your hearts!


Pink Eyeglasses Case $16.95
Marbled Wristlet Purse $19.95

Lips Mirror Compact $16.95

For the writer:


Apple Paperweight $24.95

Colour Block Cork Journal $16.95

Cork Coasters $24.95

For the wine lover:

You won't even need the actual wine to put a smile on their face! 


Lightbulb Bottle Stopper $12.95

Cheers to Us Stemless Wineglasses $19.95 - Promo $9.95

For the classroom:

For those with little ones who give out class Valentine's, Hallmark has some cute ones for their special friends and teachers!



Valentine Emoticons Tray $2.99

Gift your love with beautiful wrapping options:

It all starts with the wrapping. Hallmark always has an amazing assortment to make your gift look its best for presentation! 


Love on White tissue $1.99

Red and White Spiral tissue $2.49

Signature Marble medium bag $7.99

Signature xoxo small bag $6.99

Valentine's Day Greetings:

Of course what is a Valentine's gift without a beautiful and meaningful greeting card? Choose from a gorgeous assortment ($3.99-$9.99) in store!


Find these great items and more at Hallmark Canada stores near you! Happy Valentine's Day! 



WIN IT!

One lucky AME reader has the chance to win an Apple Paperweight ($24.95 value). Please fill in the entry ballot below! 


Must be Canadian 18+ excluding Quebec to participate. One entry per household. Prize sponsored by Hallmark. For more info on giveaway see our disclosure section. Ends February 20 2017!




Posted in participation with the Hallmark Canada blogger panel. Opinions and comments on this blog are my own.